A CARE home worker fulfilled his lifelong dream a decade ago, thanks to kind-hearted friends.

Mark McLelland, 36, who worked for veterans’ charity Erskine, met Celtic first team players and their coach at their training ground in Lennoxtown after his co-workers nominated him for a prestigious honour.

Mark, who suffered from poor vision and balance, was given the opportunity to meet his heroes by ‘Give Them A Sporting Chance’ – an organisation which helped disabled people fulfil their dreams.

A huge fan of the football club, Mark’s impairments made it difficult for him to attend matches, so he was thrilled to have the chance to meet the team and their manager, Tony Mowbray.

Accompanied by one of his work colleagues, Mark watched a full training session before having the players sign his beloved Celtic shirt.

Mark, who had been a dedicated member of staff at Erskine for 15 years, said: “Thanks to my friends at Erskine, I had a day I will never forget.

“Meeting my heroes was brilliant.

“I was really nervous before I went, as I didn’t know what to expect. However, once I’d watched all the players train and spoken to them all, I was fine.

“They all signed my Celtic shirt. I have mine framed and on my wall and that’s where it is staying.”

Staff at the Bishopton care home were unanimous when it came to volunteering lifelong Celtic fan Mark for the honour and were delighted to be able to get involved in such a fantastic opportunity.

A spokesman for Erskine said at the time: “Mark has dedicated 15 years of his life to working for the veterans in Erskine’s care.

“His loyalty to them is only matched by his humour and passion for life.

“Our thanks go to Celtic and the ‘GTASC’ for enabling Mark to meet his football team. T hey have provided something very special.”

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