Friends and family of a Co Armagh football fanatic who has been confined to a wheelchair since birth are clubbing together to get him a new set of wheels.
Tim Webb, who is a loyal follower of Glasgow Rangers FC, a flute band enthusiast and a keen archer, said he would need a new wheelchair every six or seven years.
The 30-year-old from Portadown said: “It’s something I use every day.
“I use it to get about. I use it when I’m doing archery. I’ll use it when I’m going over to Scotland to watch Rangers.
“I don’t have a different chair for different activities.”
He continued: “You can either get a new chair through the National Health or buy one privately.
“It’s better for me to go privately bought as I’ve struggled with the National Health chairs.
“I like a chair I can use myself – a lightweight chair that’s nimble, easy to get around in.”
While Tim’s family would normally foot the bill for a replacement wheelchair, this time around his friend Neil Anderson, whom Tim describes as “the backbone of Loughgall Football Club”, suggested the club could help get him a new set of wheels.
Tim said: “I was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. I’ve been in a wheelchair all my life, although I try not to let my disability get to me.
“I’m a big follower of Rangers. I’d be over there maybe every other week.
“I’d do a bit of archery as well. I’ve been into the archery maybe seven years though the last two years I’ve been stepping up my training. I used to do a bit of basketball as well.
“The chair that I’m sitting in now has a lot of wear and tear on it. It’s used everyday for all sorts of activities so you’d expect that.
“It’s time for a new chair. I wasn’t expecting this fundraising effort to help me get a new one but I’m very, very grateful.”
Tim’s dad Ivan and his friend Neil have been the driving force behind a Big Band fundraiser in Armagh Orange Hall on February 8 featuring a line-up of 15 bands.
Tim said: “I enjoy the banter with the guys. Through the band scene I’ve made quite a lot of good friends.
“I’d like to thank those band members who have volunteered to support the band night.”
Tim said he would follow his brother Matthew’s band – Kilcluney Volunteers Flute Band from Markethill – and his father’s old band – Portadown Defenders.
The 30-year-old, who is a member of LOL 107 and RBP 503, enjoys parading alongside his father every year on the Twelfth and Thirteenth.
Tim said: “In my younger years I’d be alongside my uncles and granda in their lodge – LOL 339 – until I had to join LOL 107 due to wheelchair access at the time.”