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Whistle-stop tour of grounds for museum; Fundraising: Aberdeen fans raise thousands in epic road trip.

Byline: KIRSTEN ROBERTSON

A pair of Dons super fans have travelled across Scotland to raise funds for Aberdeen Football Club's (AFC) Heritage Trust.

Bob Bain and Jock Gardiner covered all 32 grounds of the Lowland and South of Scotland leagues in just 39 hours.

The duo, accompanied by Mr Bain's son, Jonathan, took on the challenge to boost funds for the trust's proposed museum and learning centre at the Dons' new stadium at Kingsford.

They began at Kelty Hearts' New Central Park before travelling 938 miles to finish at the Forthbank stadium, home to Stirling Albion, on Tuesday.

Their travels also took in former football grounds where the Dons had played decades ago - including what is now a tile factory in Sanquhar.

It was as a child in the Lake District that Mr Gardiner began to support Aberdeen, travelling up on the East Central 1903 supporters bus to watch matches.

And his decision to study at Aberdeen University was in part influenced by the chance to see the Dons play regularly.

He said: "Even though it was a whirlwind trip, in the 938 miles there were so many fantastic stories we'll remember."

While in Berwickshire, the pair went hunting for the football pitch where the Dons thumped Duns Football Club 8-0 in 1954.

Coming up cold, they stumbled upon a local library, where the librarian was able to recall her own memories of the match and direct them to the former ground.

"It turned out to be a farmer's fields," said Mr Gardiner.

The pair's challenge comes a year after they visited all the Highland League grounds in just 18 hours, raising PS8,500. Their latest endeavour has helped them to raise an additional PS4,000.

Mr Bain, who attended his first Aberdeen game in 1974, and has missed only 22 home games since, said: "It was an incredible experience."

"In the 938 miles, there were so many fantastic stories"

CAPTION(S):

DREAM: Bob Bain, left, and Jock Gardiner are raising money towards the proposed museum and learning centre at Aberdeen's new ground

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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 8, 2019
Words:343
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