It will be a special journey for Forfar Athletic on Saturday, April 18 as the club look to continue their challenge to the League One title at Peterhead.
But the trip will hold even more meaning for one Loons fan as 44-year-old Stephen Cormie will be cycling from Forfar to Balmoor Stadium to raise funds for the Prosen Ward at Whitehills Hospital.
Stephen’s dad Tom, who has severe dementia and is now in the care of the ward, made his debut for Forfar 60 years ago this year at the age of 20.
While he had planned to make the 100-mile journey anyway, it was after a visit with his father that Stephen realised how much the ward relies on fund-raising to function, and he decided to help out as best he can.
He told the Dispatch and Herald: “I sort of had it planned last year, this actual game on my bike just for a laugh basically. Then since Christmas my dad’s been taken into Whitehills in the dementia ward.
“After speaking to a nurse one night, she was on about how they have to fund-raise for everything - seats and toasters and everything, I said well, I could do this for the ward.”
Stephen, who also played for Forfar in 1993 in a handful of reserve games, said he’s doing this for the benefit of the entire ward, not just his dad.
He added that with cases of dementia on the rise, the disease is only going to affect more and more people.
Stephen continued: “It’s not just for my dad, it’s for the good of the ward. I take the kids up and we play dominoes and things, we get on with everybody up there.
“There’s a lot of patients up there we speak to. It’s a fantastic unit up there.
“It’ll affect a lot of people over the next 10 or 20 years, it’s a lot more on the rise dementia.”
Stephen intends to reach the Blue Toon’s stadium in time for the 3 p.m. kick-off and will travel via Cairn O’Mount, Banchory, Inverurie and Ellon.
It’s a distance of 100 miles of cycling, with 5,000 ft of climbing thrown in for good measure.
To donate in support of Stephen’s amazing effort, visit the fund-raising website at http://www.sponsorme.co.uk/stephencormie/forfar-%28athletic%29-to-peterhead-%28fc%29-via-the-cairn-o-mount-100-mile-cycle.aspx