Former pro footballer and ex Irish Guard Ricky Culbertson is on a mission to raise as much money as he can for Macmillan Cancer to honour the memory of his late mum, Doreen.
The Ballymena 36-year-old is raising sponsorship as he plans to ‘brave the shave’ on December 3, the seventh anniversary of his mum’s death from terminal cancer.
Ricky has lived life to the full having been a professional footballer with Norwich, Swindon Town and L.A. Galaxy. A change in career saw him join the Irish Guards in 2005, serving in Iraq in 2007 but it was in 2009 that his world was rocked.
An unexpected visit by his Uncle Miller in September when he was stationed at Windsor brought the devastating news his mum Doreen had cancer.
“My dad had his own illness and mum was his carer and all of a sudden myself and my younger sister Julie were looking after our parents. Mum had radiotherapy and chemotherapy but it didn’t shrink the tumour and then secondary cancer was discovered throughout her body. We had to do things for mum that children shouldn’t have to do for their parents and we couldn’t have done it without the support we received from the Macmillan nurses who were just fantastic.”
Sadly, after a short battle, Richard’s Mum passed away on December 3, 2009, aged 51. Ricky returned to Windsor on January 19, 2010, but with his dad Alex in ill health he requested a posting back to Northern Ireland.
“Dad passed away on May 19 aged 55 and I believe he died of a broken heart. He gave up after mum died, she was his best friend and they did everything together,” said Ricky.
Having done a little bit of fundraising following his parents’ passing, it was a conversation with a colleague which inspired him to sign up for Macmillan’s Brave the Shave this year.
“Macmillan Cancer is such a great charity and the work they do is second to none,” said Ricky.
“I’ve had great support and it has now turned into a real occasion. Meta and Peter Tweed at the Smithfield Arms have been fantastic and that’s were I’m going to have it all shaved off. We will be holding a raffle and auction on the night and I’ve had football shirts from Northern Ireland players and local businesses have been donating prizes too.” To donate to Richard’s fundraiser go to https://bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/richard-culbertson/