A TEENAGE piper from Renfrewshire has been praised for helping to make a terminally-ill man’s wedding day special.

Michael Duffy, 44, and Julie Neilson, 41, tied the knot last week after loved ones raised enough funds to book the groom’s dream venue, Celtic Park.

The pair had been due to wed later this year but the ceremony was brought forward after Michael was diagnosed with secondary adenocarcinoma of the liver on December 5 and told he may have just weeks to live.

Wedding Wish Makers (WWM) issued a plea on Christmas Eve, calling on people to donate their time and services to make the day a success.

One of those kind enough to do so was 18-year-old piper Ruari Buchan, from Quarriers Village, who played outside the stadium as guests arrived and then piped in the bridal party.

Suzanne Stevenson, founder of WWM, told The Gazette: “We are extremely grateful to Ruari for piping at the wedding.

“Lee Anne Gentles, who is one of our board members and worked tirelessly in the background to make the day possible, and I attended the wedding and we were amazed by Ruari’s performance.

“He is incredibly talented and it’s amazing he gave his time free of charge to help give this couple these special memories.”

The newlyweds, who are parents to five daughters and one son, have been together for four years and got engaged on Christmas Eve 2020.

They decided to keep the wedding small, with just 26 guests, to help protect Michael and eight-year-old daughter Ava, who is also terminally ill.

WWM reached out to pipers they had used in the past but no-one was available, so it was a big relief when Ruari’s mum Jennifer got in touch the day before the wedding.

Ruari, who is a member of Johnstone Pipe Band, said he was “proud” to be part of such a special day.

“It would have been a disservice to the family not to give the bride and groom something to try and complete the entire wedding experience they wanted,” added the Glasgow University student.

“The wedding was organised in quite a quick time but is definitely an occasion that is going to stick with me.”

A GoFundMe page also raised £3,600 for the couple but, after the wedding was paid for by the family and everything else needed for the day was donated, this money will now go directly to Michael and Julie.

In a post on Facebook, Julie described her big day as “the most wonderful wedding.”

She added: “That will spur us on as we take the next steps in our journey and fight for Michael’s life as husband and wife.”

To donate, visit gofund.me/1550b020.