Former Pompey stars tee off to support pal struck down by illness

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GOLFERS got in the swing for a charity day to raise awareness about a debilitating condition that affects a former Pompey player.

And, such is the popularity of Kim Manns, many of them are nervously preparing to throw themselves out of a plane at 10,000ft tomorrow – including Kim’s wife Steph.

(l-r) Ray Crawford, Jake Payne, Kim Manns, Norman Burt and Steve Kattenhorn at the charity golf day at Waterlooville Golf Club in aid of Motor Neurone Disease.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142809-676)

(l-r) Ray Crawford, Jake Payne, Kim Manns, Norman Burt and Steve Kattenhorn at the charity golf day at Waterlooville Golf Club in aid of Motor Neurone Disease.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142809-676)

Sixty-one-year-old Kim, who played for Waterlooville FC for more than 20 years and had a spell at Fratton Park in 1972 under Ron Tindall, organised the fundraisers to help research into motor neurone disease.

He was diagnosed with the illness two years ago.

It means messages from the brain gradually stop reaching muscles and Kim has now lost his voice.

Yesterday, 24 teams of four competed at Waterlooville Golf Club, including former Pompey players Ray Crawford, Dave Munks and Billy Gilbert.

Kim, of Kimbolton Road, Copnor, also enjoyed a round of golf.

Both events hope to raise at least £12,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Billy, who played for Portsmouth from 1984 to 1989 and will be doing the sky dive, said: ‘Kim is a lovely fella and it’s an awful illness.

‘Anything I can do to support him, I will do it.’

Kim’s son Sam Manns, 28, who will be joining his mum and brother Chris for the skydive over Salisbury Plain, said: ‘With the Ice Bucket challenge a lot of people have heard about the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

‘They do a great job of looking after people with the disease.’

Kim’s friend Lisa Saunders, 43, from Lovedean, was organising all the teams yesterday.

She said: ‘He’s a special man.

‘He’s still the same happy, funny person and he would do anything for anyone.’

Kim celebrated his first-ever hole in one earlier this year.

His niece Gabby McLeod, 23, who is doing the skydive, said: ‘I would not have done it off my own back, but I would do anything to help him out.’

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