Chris Paterson (left) and Alexander McCall Smith (centre) with Eric Liddell’s medals

Alexander McCall Smith has penned an original poem to be auctioned as part of the inaugural Eric Liddell Centre fundraising dinner next month.

The original poem will be handwritten by the author with bids now able to placed online.

He used Eric Liddell, the Olympic gold medallist, as his inspiration for the poem.

McCall Smith will attend the fundraiser on 5 December at the Sheraton Grand.

He said: “Eric Liddell’s story is one of the great inspiring stories of Scotland.”

Chris Paterson will also be speaking while comedian and columnist Susan Morrison will compare the evening to help raise funds for the major Edinburgh care charity and community hub.

Chris’ appearance at the dinner comes through the Murrayfield Injured Players’ Foundation who have pledged support for the ELC gala. The Foundation focusses on providing support and assistance to injured Scottish rugby players but is financially and administratively independent. Since its inception the Charity has assisted a number of players with long term injuries.

John MacMillan, CEO of The Eric Liddell Centre, said: “The centre specialises in care for the elderly and dementia services with the aim of reducing social isolation and promoting independence while supporting people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

“Our person-centred day care service to 70 people per week who are diagnosed with dementia is carried out by a dedicated team and skilled volunteers.”

The full list of auction items can be found at www.goingforgold.ericliddell.org and details of how to purchase tickets to the gala is at https://www.ericliddell.org/inaugural-eric-liddell-centre-fundraising-gala/