The decision by Wishaw-based County Flute Band to sponsor a Celtic daft local youngster in his quest to compete at next year’s Special Olympics has gone global, with $500 (£336) being sent by hoops fans in the USA.

The Celtic supporters club, which is based in New York, heard about the County Band’s efforts and decided to help out with a hefty donation. The band’s kindness has touched hearts locally too, with Wishaw Central Community Council throwing £500 into the growing money pot. In fact, so well is the fundraising going that the band has been able to extend its sponsorship to include the girlfriend of Ronan Foley, the local lad who is the focus of the band’s generosity. Like Ronan, 17 year old Samantha Scott has learning difficulties and is profoundly deaf. And like Ronan, she’s also a gifted swimmer, competing in backstroke, butterfly and freestyle.

The band has succeeded in garnering support across the supposed religious divide.

As well as the donation from Celtic fans in New York, the band has also received a cheque from a couple in Manchester who learned of their efforts from the pages of the Catholic Universe. Strong support has come from Orange quarters too, of course, with local lodges sending in donations. A coin collector in Cumbernauld offered historic coins from the reigns of James II and William III, raising £100 from the delighted new owner.

The band will be holding a charity night for the Ronan Appeal on Friday 10th June in Wishaw Orange Halls. Ronan and Samantha are pictured here with Bro Jim Scott, band president and a member of Victoria LOL 21, Cambusnethan.