BY Amanda Connelly | April 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

7 climb

Carfin dad set to climb Scotland’s highest peak in memory of son Joe

A Motherwell Diocese parishioner is getting set to tackle Great Britain’s highest mountain later this month to raise money in his son’s memory.

Alan Wilson, a parishioner at St Francis Xavier’s Church in Carfin, will take on Ben Nevis on April 27, where he hopes to hit his fundraising target of £1,000 to split between a number of different charities in honour of his son, Joseph.

Joseph Wilson, right and below, died in December 2011 aged 17, from an undiagnosed heart condition.

In April 2012, 176 people took part in a climb up Ben Nevis in his memory, with Mr Wilson and a number of Joseph’s close friends set to repeat the climb again in a few weeks’ time.

“Joe was one of these rare people in the world who made you feel brilliant about yourself,” Mr Wilson’s JustGiving fundraising page reads.

“When he spoke with you it felt like you were the single most important person in the world.”


Devotion to Faith

Speaking to the SCO, Mr Wilson described his son as ‘very, very devout and very strong in his Faith.’

Seven years on, the group is taking on the mountain once again, with Mr Wilson being joined by Chris Lawlor, Andy McFarlane, Kevin Connelly, Raymund Cullen, Anthony Lawlor and Michael O’Hanlon, who were Joe’s close friends.

“Joe’s close pals were always saying we should do this again sometime, so they decided to do it again and they asked me to do it as well,” Mr Wilson said. Jokingly, he added: “Being the foolish old man that I am, I said ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’”


‘Quite a challenge’

Mr Wilson described a mix of emotions ahead of the climb, saying: “I’m feeling elated, I’m feeling nervous, and I guess a wee bit anxious about it… there’s a lot of emotions going on there.

“It’s a great experience and one of these exhilarating experiences.

“You’re maybe thinking ‘this is quite a challenge,’ but when you do it and you get there and you make it back down and reflect, it’s just exhilarating.”



The climbers are raising funds for a number of different charities that have personal significance to the group, including the Beatson Cancer Charity, Changing Faces and the Joe Wilson Table Tennis Club, which was set up by Mr Wilson in September 2012.

Mr Wilson joked that his wife, Veronica, who is praying for him that it all goes OK, is a ‘table tennis widow’ between him running the club twice a week and accompanying players to competitions some weekends.

“We very much run the club and it has the kind of ethos and culture of Joe’s personality,” he explained.

“So everyone’s welcome, everyone’s included—it doesn’t matter if you can play table tennis or can’t play table tennis.”


Joe’s legacy

The club celebrates Joe’s love of table tennis, and welcomes players of all abilities, needs and ages, promoting a caring and inclusive ethos.

It meets twice weekly at Taylor High School in New Stevenston, on Tuesdays from 6pm-10pm and Thursdays from 7pm-9pm. “It’s something that’s all inclusive for everyone,” Mr Wilson added. “And it keeps Joe’s name there.”

To donate, please visit:

To find out more about the table tennis club, visit:


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