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Sunday
Jun192011

Father's Day 2011

FNF Scotland members took part in two Father's Day events this weekend. 

Four Glasgow members ran or walked in the Men's Health Forum Scotland Men's 10k in Bellahouston Park on Sunday June 19th.  Here Chris Devenport celebrates a very respectable 62 minutes time.

Congratulations also to Hamish, Tom and Alastair who completed the course in times ranging from under one hour to just under two hours (walking).  As well as giving the t-shirts a good airing, the FNF runners got several name checks for the organisation from the announcers and raised sponsorship money.

Edinburgh FNF members took part in a less strenuous but just as enthralling event on Saturday June 18th. Fathers and their children took part in a storytelling event in the Storytelling centre in the Royal Mile, with the storytellers including Edinburgh group members.

Both events were filmed for the forthcoming FNF Scotland promotional video, and we will preview some of the this on the web site shortly.

Friday
Jun172011

What My Father Means To Me - 5

Footballers are role models for their playing ability, but their family life is also a chance to set a good example (unless when superinjuncted).  Pat Nevin Jr recognises his own father's influence in our final Father's Day contribution.

My Dad is clearly my inspiration, not just for the fact that he is 86 now, still swimming 100 lengths once or twice a week, fitting in a few three hour walks along the way and dancing three times in the same period to boot.  More than that it is the dedication he lavished on me and my 5 siblings as we grew up. Having worked a hard shift, when he came home I had to be ready at five o'clock every day, hail, rain or shine, with my boots on and ball ready to go out with him to work on my football skillls.

He was the only father in my area of Easterhouse who would be doing that. He also ran schools football teams and boys clubs at the same time, were days 40 hours long back then? While doing all that, education was also deemed hugely important and I was encouraged, along with the rest of the family to get the best grades possible - all six of us went on to higher education, not common in the area.
 
Throughout my professional football career of about 700 appearances he missed the grand total of one game home or away. That is not bad considering he lived in Glasgow, was still working full time and I spent most of my time playing for Chelsea and Everton down south. The logistics are hard to imagine, but he managed and all the time continued to be just as considerate a father to the others and a loving husband to my Mum as well. Few men could have been so willing and happy to give their lives to the care of others. If I can be 10% of the father to my children that he has been to us, I will feel I have done a pretty good job.

Thursday
Jun162011

What My Father Means To Me: 4

We asked some religious leaders about their fathers.  The Right Reverend David Arnott,  Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said:

I realise that I learned from my father that we are all here to serve and to help other people.  Life is a gift and we all have to use that gift for the good of the society in which we live.

My father, who was a GP in West Fife, spent himself looking after his patients. When he died one of his patients said to me it was as if a friend had passed away.  He was also an elder in the Kirk. When I was studying divinity we would regularly debate issues of faith.  It was clear to me he took his faith seriously, but also that he questioned it regularly. If that causes uncertainty on occasion, it also results in a stronger faith.

I like to think those qualities have helped to shape my own outlook on life. I am very much aware I am my father's son.

Thursday
Jun162011

Father's Day - the meaning for some fathers

How does it feel on Father's Day if you are aren't seeing your children?

This series of contributions from well-known Scots about their own fathers highlights the importance for children of having a father involved in your life.

We've asked some of the people who come along to Families Need Fathers meetings to add their Father's Day thoughts as comments to this item, so that their views can be heard.

Wednesday
Jun152011

What My Father Means To Me: 3

Neil Findlay is a newly elected Labour MSP for Lothian. He is a father himself with a teenage daughter.

“My Da was a big man in both physique and personality. He was one of the last to do national service in the Army then followed his grandfather into the building trade as a bricklayer – a generation later I followed on the family tradition serving my apprenticeship with him in the same trade.

This was one of the best experiences of my life as it taught me more about the inherent goodness in people than school, university or politics ever could. My Da was from a traditional Scottish presbyterian family and they instilled in him the values of hard work, kindness and social solidarity with your fellow human beings. He never forgot people’s kindness to him or his family and was generous to the point of excess.

He enjoyed going to the pub (a malt drinker – Laphroig) and his loud cackling laugh was infectious. His marriage to my mum, an intelligent working class woman of Lithuanian Catholic descent brought together two very different characters but their relationship worked and I am very proud of my parents and the values they instilled in me and my brother John and Sister Anna. “Big Ian” as he was known died in 2004 – his standing in the community was reflected in the fact that we could have filled the local church several times over with friends, colleagues and family. He was a big man and I miss him greatly"