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Keith Golf Club member Eric Sharp (70) raises more than £3400 with walk round course's 18th green


By Jonathan Clark

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After around 300 laps around Keith Golf Club's 18th green, Eric Sharp completes his five-day fundraising marathon. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
After around 300 laps around Keith Golf Club's 18th green, Eric Sharp completes his five-day fundraising marathon. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

A LOYAL member has raised more than £3000 for Keith Golf Club by walking a marathon round the course’s 18th green.

Eric Sharp (70), who lives in the town, walked about 60 laps of the course’s final green each day from Monday to Friday last week.

The total distance walked was 26.2 miles and the total amount raised for the club was £3400 on Friday afternoon.

Donations are still coming in and the final total is expected to be nearer to the £4000 mark.

Eric said: “I’m more than happy. We have raised £3400 and this far exceeds what we were hoping for.

“The weather on the Wednesday and Thursday was pretty grim but that’s the usual for Keith – I was battling through hailstones one day.

“It was quite cold on Thursday, too, but I didn’t feel it because I was trying to keep a steady pace to keep the heat up.

“There was a few folk walking a few laps and the support was great.”

Eric was joined by friends and family for his final few laps. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Eric was joined by friends and family for his final few laps. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Eric is embraced by wife Sheila at the end of his marathon effort. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Eric is embraced by wife Sheila at the end of his marathon effort. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Eric is embraced by wife Sheila at the end of his marathon effort. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Eric is embraced by wife Sheila at the end of his marathon effort. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Eric is embraced by wife Sheila at the end of his marathon effort. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Eric is embraced by wife Sheila at the end of his marathon effort. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The support was much appreciated by Eric – with lots of other groups fundraising due to financial worries during the coronavirus pandemic.

He added: “Everybody is in the same game trying to get a bit of fundraising.

“Without any fundraising it’s difficult to get anything in and I’m sure I’m speaking for every golf club when I say that.

“The idea all came from watching Captain Tom on TV and I think the fact I was seen to be doing something rather than holding my hand out helped. Plus the fact that I’m born and bred in Keith and a lot of folk know me!

“The 18th green was an ideal location too, next to the clubhouse. There was a collection box at the table at the clubhouse, with sanitizer.

“Folk would come, drop envelopes into the box, give me a wee cheer and away they went again.”

Eric and Sheila are joined by family and friends at the finish.Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Eric and Sheila are joined by family and friends at the finish.Picture: Daniel Forsyth

However, one little fan did far more than just drop in with cash and head off again.

“This little lad Jake Taylor, he was maybe only seven years old, was round every single day with a sweetie for me and to walk a couple of laps,” Eric added.

“Even on the bad days with the weather. He always had a packet of sweeties – and he made a banner too. Jake walked the last lap with me and was a great help.”

Eric walks alongside Jake Taylor, who supported him every day of his walk. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Eric walks alongside Jake Taylor, who supported him every day of his walk. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Jake Taylor with a sign of encourgement he made for Eric...After 300 laps around Keith Golf Club's 18th green - Eric Sharp completes his five-day fundraising marathon. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Jake Taylor with a sign of encourgement he made for Eric...After 300 laps around Keith Golf Club's 18th green - Eric Sharp completes his five-day fundraising marathon. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Alongside Jake, a socially-distanced group gathered to cheer Eric over the finishing line on Friday.

His wife Sheila and son Nathan were both in attendance – along with his grand-daughter Darci who walked a couple of laps too.

Former Keith player and Scotland captain Colin Hendry and former Keith striker Charlie Rowley were also down and took part in a couple of laps.

Eric's grand-daughter Darci Sharp, who gave him his first donation, joins him for a lap. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Eric's grand-daughter Darci Sharp, who gave him his first donation, joins him for a lap. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Former Scotland football captain Colin Hendry joins Eric Sharp for a couple of laps. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Former Scotland football captain Colin Hendry joins Eric Sharp for a couple of laps. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Eric is joined by Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley for a lap. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Eric is joined by Forres Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley for a lap. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

While the marathon effort has left Eric “feeling good”, he insists it’s the last time he’ll be doing something similar.

“That was the first time I’ve done anything like that and may I say it could possibly be the last,” he added.

“It has given me a taste for it – but it’s a bad taste!

“I don’t think I’ll be persuaded to do it again. Maybe a half marathon.”

Donations are still being welcomed and can be made in a sealed envelope and sent to the Keith Golf Club or handed in to Eric at 107A Land Street.

Eric’s surname is spelt Sharp and not Sharpe as written in last week’s paper. Apologies to Eric for the mistake.

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