Lawrence Haggart's legacy will help Mille with cancer battle

FAMILY and friends of a promising young footballer who was murdered in his own home are using the 20th anniversary of his tragic death to raise money for a good cause.

Murdered Celtic Starlet Lawrence Haggart from Larbert. C

Lawrence Haggart was just 15 when he was killed in the living room of the house he shared with his family in Larbert, Stirlingshire, on 17 March, 1996.

The school pupil was killed by Brian Beattie, a known paedophile who lived locally. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 and remains behind bars.

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Lawrence’s death was devastating for his parents, Janet and Larry, along with his brothers, John and Dennis.

Richard Fox and Dennis Haggart publicise a charity match in memory of Lawrence Haggart. Picture Michael Gillen

The youngster had already been capped by the Scotland under-15 side and had signed an S-form with Celtic, the team he grew up supporting. He was widely tipped to make the transition to professional football.

But his short life has never been forgotten by those that knew him and a series of community events are taking place this week to honour his memory and help others.

On Easter Sunday, a commemorative five-a-side football tournament will be held in Grangemouth. More than 100 players are expected to take part.

It follows an 11-a-side game at the home of Stenhousemuir FC on Sunday, and a charity auction with 
prizes donated from numerous businesses and football clubs, including Celtic and Rangers.

Richard Fox and Dennis Haggart publicise a charity match in memory of Lawrence Haggart. Picture Michael Gillen

“The response has been phenomenal,” said Dennis. “Thanks to social media, we have heard from people my brother played with more than 20 years ago.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by messages of support. People are just delighted to see Lawrence being remembered in this way.”

Proceeds will be donated to Millie’s Journey, a campaign raising £70,000 to allow a three-year-old from Airth, near Falkirk, to travel to the United States for neuroblastoma treatment.

Millie McColl was diagnosed with a tumour of the nervous system last year.

Following an intensive programme of treatment at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital For Sick Children, her family are fundraising to pay for further preventative treatment currently only available in the US.

“We’ve not a set a target for how much we raise,” added Dennis, who played football with Millie’s father when he was younger.

“If we can give £500, great, if we give £2,000, amazing.”

Dennis and the rest of his family have yet to decide whether the tournament in Lawrence’s memory will become an annual event.

“We’ve had to limit it this year to 20 teams,” he said. “We could have had more than 30 – but we would have been there all night!”