Celtic Ambassador donates Rangers legend painting to MND charity

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Lurgan Celtic fan Jay Beatty has donated a special painting of him and former Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen to a charity auction.

Celtic ambassador Jay commissioned a Scottish artist to paint a special work of art based on a photo taken of the pair outside Parkhead.

Jay, who recently turned 12, paid for the commission out of his own pocket money and has donated it, via the Celtic Foundation, to Motor Neuron Disease Scotland.

Ricksen has been battling MND for three years, and the Celtic Foundation, of which Jay is Ambassador, has previously donated £10,000 to Fernando’s cause.

The image of the photo taken at Parkhead last year went viral on social media with football fans and well-wishers from around the world.

Now the young Celtic FC Foundation Ambassador has commissioned Sean Mooney to turn that very photograph into a work of art which has been gifted to MND Scotland to raise vital funds at their Cornflower Ball on 11th March.

Jay, who has Downs Syndrome, presented the painting to MND Scotland on Sunday 31st January at the statue of former Celtic player, Jimmy Johnstone, who passed away from MND almost 10 years ago – a fitting tribute for Jay’s donation.

The auction of the drawing will help raise funds for MND Scotland, the only Scottish charity providing care and support to people affected by MND, as well as funding research to find a cure.

Iain McWhirter from MND Scotland said “Jay has paid for the painting out of his own pocket money and we’re really grateful to him for such a kind gesture. We’d also like to thank Sean for producing such a wonderful picture. The photo of Jay and Fernando has had so much interest on social media, and I’m sure this will help to raise a fantastic amount to help people affected by MND.

“We are opening up the auction of the painting to everyone, not just those attending the Ball. So if you would like to put in a bid for this one of a kind piece, please get in touch by calling 0141 332 3903 or email fundraising@mndscotland.org.uk. We’ll also have a bidding website up and running soon.”

Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation said: “This is a wonderful gesture from Jay for a fantastic cause. We were very saddened to hear the news about Fernando, unfortunately at Celtic FC Foundation, we are all too familiar with Motor Neurone Disease and we have a long association with charities who tackle the illness. We hope that Jay’s gift will help raise vital funds to continue this work”.