‘Land’s End to John O’Groats on this? Can’t say I’m looking forward to it...’

Raymond Olgilvie plans to ride this moped frpm John O'Groats to Lands End in June
Raymond Olgilvie plans to ride this moped frpm John O'Groats to Lands End in June

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If you think Raymond Ogilvie looks a trifle apprehensive on this mean machine, you’d be right.

If you think Raymond Ogilvie looks a trifle apprehensive on this mean machine, you’d be right.

He calls it a moped, to others it’s a scooter. But Raymond doesn’t give a hoot what you call it as long as this 1986 Honda Vision gets him from A to B.

Fine if you are pootling from Eastney to Baffins. Not so fine if your A is John O’Groats and B equals Land’s End – a mere 1,000-mile pootle.

‘God knows why I’ve agreed to do it. Every time I go out on the thing I have a near miss. And there’s another thing, I dare not go above 24mph on it because it might blow up.’

So, that’ll be all right then.

When June comes, Raymond and a group of others, all riding Visions, will begin their ride from one corner of the mainland Britain to the other.

‘I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but it will be an adventure and if you don’t stretch yourself in life you’ll never achieve anything,’ says 30-year-old Raymond.

That’s a far cry from the little lad who gave up on his education without a goal in life...except the one in which to thump a ball.

Like countless lads Raymond Ogilvie hated school. He bunked off regularly, usually to indulge his passion for football.

‘I knew I was never going to get anywhere with my GCSEs. I was kicking a ball around one day when I should have been at school, my mum found me, she took me home and I told her all I wanted to do was leave and get a job. So that was it. I left.’

Apart from football, Raymond’s other big interest was music. He wanted to be a DJ and, with a bit of luck one night at the old Unicorn pub in Fratton Road, the under-age 17-year-old, was asked if he could play some music.

Today Raymond, who once had a column in The News, DJs three nights a week at Tiger Tiger at Gunwharf Quays.

Then, in 2008, two things happened which have changed Raymond’s life. ‘My cousin, Samantha Wray, died from cancer, aggressive osteosarcoma. Then my best friend’s dad died from cancer too.

‘I found myself at their funerals – two within three months – thinking ‘‘what a waste, there must be something I can do’’.

‘The only thing I could think of was to use my big passion in life, football, in some way.’

So Raymond, of Malins Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, set about organising what he thought would be a one-off football match between sides consisting of men who had all lost someone to the disease.

‘It was in 2009. I had 30 players for two teams. The Moneyfields club were fantastic and got us a pitch. I had no idea how it would turn out. To be honest I thought we’d be doing well to reach £500.

‘But, you know what, that day raised £14,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

‘I couldn’t believe it. It was the first time I had cried for years and when the Marie Curie people came to receive the cheque they said it was the biggest they’d ever had from a group that was not an official charity.’

Raymond added: ‘I was so chuffed, but all the lads who took part wanted to know when we could do it again.’

So Raymond created Football For Cancer, the first charity of its kind in the country. He got kit sponsorship from Kits 2000 in Fratton Road and, with his mum Linnete doing all the accounting and paperwork, set about organising another tournament for 2010.

‘I’d gone to the Rowans Hospice for a meeting and while there I bumped into a mate of mine. I asked him what he was doing there and he said he was a patient, he was dying. That really knocked me for six.

‘I had a look round the place and decided there and then that the next Football For Cancer event had to be for the Rowans.’

That year Raymond got Pompey on board. The club let him use Fratton Park and the Pompey Legends side got involved as one of the, now eight, sides taking part.

They raised £32,000.

By now Raymond, who had been playing for AFC Portchester, had signed for Petersfield Town and last year’s event was in aid of the Rosemary Foundation Hospice at Home service in the town.

‘With the recession and the way everything was going with the economy, we only managed to raise £22,000,’ adds Raymond.

Only £22,000? ‘I had been hoping for more, but people are struggling to pay mortgages out there. They might have lost their jobs. So, yes, I suppose it wasn’t too bad.’

So that’s £68,000 in three years, not bad going for a renegade pupil from St Luke’s, Southsea, who quit school ‘to hang around with my mates, play football and listen to music’.

He says: ‘My dream is to hit £100,000 and if this crazy idea to ride a moped from one end of the country to the other helps get us there, it’ll be worth the pain.’