‘I’ll do one more for my friend Robbie!’

Robbie and Neil
Robbie and Neil

having already put his body through several marathons in the past, Neil Clark vowed not to run one again.

That was until he met fellow piping enthusiast Robbie Crow.

Robbbie (19), a marketing student at Stirling University, was born with a rare disorder which has left his with only five per cent vision in one eye and none in the other.

Despite being registered blind, Robbie is one of the top ranked pipe drummers in the world, a qualified skiing and sailing instructor and ambassador for the Micro Anophthalmic Children’s Society (MACS) – a charity that helped him as a child.

The friends met through a piping website, with Robbie a drummer for Denny and Dunipace Pipe Band and Neil a piper in Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band.

Neil, an instructor at the police college in Tulliallan, said: “I said I wouldn’t run another marathon but I wanted to raise funds and awareness for Robbie’s charity so I decided to do one more.”

Neil, from Torwood, is tackling the London Marathon later this month, one of the biggest races in the world with more than 37,000 runners and millions of spectators.

“The size of the race is what is daunting, there are so many runners and spectators but it’s definitely something to tick from the to do list,’’ he told the Herald.

“I like to help local causes and, knowing how dedicated Robbie is, the money will go to good use.”

Robbie teaches children from MACS how to sail, taking them on trips and showing them that being blind doesn’t stop them being successful.

Robbie, from Airth, said: “The activity trips are great for the kids. For many of them it’s the first time they are away from their parents and being independent.

“They have to cook, clean and sail and I think it really benefits them to be told they can do whatever they want to do. Often when the kids arrive they say ‘I can’t do that because I’m blind’ and I tell them, look if I can go skiing down a mountain blind then you can make your own tea.

“Parents can be the worst and think that, because their child can’t see, they can’t do things for themselves but I tell them they can.”

The teen thinks his parents Dawn and Rab and older brother Kyle (23) are the reason he is so independent as they never let his disability hold him back.

“The only thing I really wish I could do is drive, that is the only think I can’t do that I want to.

“I can do everything else but waiting around on public transport – especially in Airth - is just shocking.”