Golfing star backs charity tee-off drive for Wickham youngster

MEETING A STAR Golfer Darren Clarke with Jack Layton, six, and his dad Stuart
MEETING A STAR Golfer Darren Clarke with Jack Layton, six, and his dad Stuart
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GOLFING star Darren Clarke has joined forces with a young lad from Wickham in a bid to persuade people to sign up to a major fundraising event fighting muscular dystrophy.

Clarke, the 2011 Open champion, is backing the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Four Course Classic.

This is a golf marathon which sees teams of four play four courses over a single day to raise funds for the charity.

Jack Layton has the muscle-wasting condition Becker muscular dystrophy and got to meet the golfing star during the PGA European Tour at Wentworth.

The six-year-old said: ‘Darren Clarke is me and my dad’s favourite player. It was fun to meet him and he gave me his hat.’

Jack’s dad Stuart Layton took on the golfing challenge last year, raising hundreds of pounds towards research and support for the 70,000 families across the UK who are affected.

The Laytons are now calling on keen golfers to sign up for this year’s event, during which players will be sponsored to tee off at sunrise on the longest Friday of the year, June 22, and then play 72 holes in just 16 hours, covering 15 miles of fairways.

Stuart, of Garnier Park in Wickham, said: ‘Jack and I were absolutely delighted to have the chance to meet Darren. He even signed his visor for Jack, which is now at home on his bedroom wall.

‘The Four Course Classic is a gruelling challenge, but one that every keen golfer should try once. All those aches, pains and blisters are worth it when you think about what a good cause all the hard work is for. Jack is only six, but already his legs get tired quickly and he needs to use a wheelchair.

‘The muscles in his body will continue to weaken throughout his life and we face some pretty tough times ahead.

‘The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is funding research that could make a big difference to how Jack’s condition will affect him the future. I really hope that golfers will support us and get involved.’

The most successful fundraising team will be whisked off to Paphos for a week’s holiday at the four-star Louis Ledra Beach Hotel.

To sign up go to fourcourseclassic.co.uk and select your chosen courses, or call 020 7803 4824. For a £25 registration fee, each player will receive their four tee-times, a polo shirt and full fundraising support to help raise the minimum sponsorship of £250.