A PAIR of football fans from either side of the Old Firm divide are getting shirty by taking part in a fundraising challenge with a difference.

Johnstone man Mark West is an avid Celtic supporter, while close friend David Roberts, from Linwood, cheers on Rangers – but one thing they have in common is a desire to raise awareness of mental health issues.

And that has led to the duo taking part in a fun contest...with the loser having to wear his rival team’s full kit for a whole day and post photos of their forfeit on social media for an extra dose of humiliation.

It is hoped the unusual challenge, which involves Mark and David trying to lose the most weight before the end of next month, will raise thousands of pounds for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Mark, 22, said: “It’s about raising awareness of mental health and showing friends and family that it’s absolutely okay not to be okay and to speak about things.

“We chose SAMH because it’s close to our hearts, as we both struggle with mental health issues.”

David, 23, revealed that, so far, the contest to lose the most weight is too close to call – but around £500 has already been raised for the worthy cause.

“As of Saturday, we are even in how much we’ve lost,” he said.

“The fact that Mark and I support different teams helps. We wind each other up. I’ve been saying ‘I’ve got a Rangers top here with your name on it.’

“If we reach our £2,000 fundraising target, that will mean so much to us.”

The pair, who have been friends since childhood, have taken different approaches to their weight loss challenge, with David focusing on improving his diet and Mark opting to do more exercise.

To find out more about the work being done by SAMH, visit https://www.samh.org.uk.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond


Scotland is in lockdown. Shops are closing and newspaper sales are falling fast. We're not exaggerating when we say the future of local newspapers and the vital service we have provided for many years is under threat.

Please consider supporting The Gazette in whatever way you can - by paying just 90p for a copy of the newspaper when you're shopping for essential supplies for yourself and others or by subscribing to our e-edition here.