A FOOTBALL fan will take to the pitch at the Reebok Stadium later to raise awareness of the terminal illness which has struck down his father.

Peter Carson, aged 30, has organised a special match with about 30 of his friends at the home of Wanderers on Sunday, May 4.

With the cost of hiring the ground covered by Mr Carson and his pals, all funds raised will benefit Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND), a charity conducting crucial research into the rare condition which affects the nervous system.

His father Mick, aged 53, from Wesley Street, Westhoughton, has suffered from MND for more than six years.

The incurable condition often leaves him weak and struggling to speak, and he sometimes requires the use of breathing apparatus.

Mr Carson, also from Westhoughton said: “Dad should be at the match for at least some of it, which will be great.

“This is simply about trying to raise as much money as possible for MND.

“It is not an illness that gets as much attention as some so we really just want to make people more aware of it.”

Mr Carson, and his girlfriend Vikki Hodkinson, have been fundraising for MND for more than a year, and are almost a quarter of the way towards an ambitious target of £8,000.

In October 2014, the pair plan to complete a Trek in Africa for MND.

There is no cure for the disease and most people live for only three to four years once diagnosed.

Mick’s wife Angela said: “It started with pain in a leg just after he had had a hernia operation.

“Then it spread to his other leg, then his hands.

“Now he can move only his eyes and his head, and he doesn’t have a lot of control over his eyes even.

“We have two carers coming in a day.

“It is so frustrating for Mick when he can’t respond to a conversation or do a job because he used to a really lively, active person.”

MND has helped the Carson family pay to have Mick’s car adapted when he lost feeling in his legs and to install a “through-the-floor” lift.

The match kicks-off at 3pm and Mr Carson is also hosting a reception and charity auction afterwards at the Horwich RMI club.

Doors open from 7pm, and up to 300 guests will be able to bid on sporting memorabilia and enter a £5 raffle, with top prizes including an iPad mini and a 42-inch TV.

Tickets for the match and the evening are both £5 — £1.50 for concessions — and are available from Mr Carson on 07526615180.

To donate visit justgiving.com/peteandvikki.