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Benefactor returns for Academy Day

2nd October 2015

Wayne Berry may live almost 300 miles away from the Diamonds but his heart has never left Airdrieonians. 

And on Saturday on Academy Day one of the club’s most dedicated exiled fans will be back at the Excelsior with his wife and two sons to celebrate a special footballing love affair. 

As a big part of the Club’s first celebration of our revamped Academy, big-hearted transport engineer Wayne has made a £500 donation to kickstart our fundraising efforts that will gather pace over the rest of this season. 

Now along with his partner Karen Mack and sons Samuel, eight, and five-year-old Alex he will be a guest of the Club as a new era of youth development begins at Airdrieonians. 

The Berry family travelled north for the Rangers game earlier this season but we decided it was fitting they should also make the return journey on Academy Day. 

Wayne revealed: “My mother Grace Berry (Boyd) was born in Howletnest Road, Airdrie, and went to Rochsolloch Primary and Airdrie High. 

“She was the eldest daughter with five brothers, Derek, Jim, Daniel, John and Edward to parents Elijah and Jean Boyd.   

“In her late teens she moved to Birmingham where she met my father, married and settled in Birmingham until her death from a very short battle with cancer in 2009. 

“My grandparents moved from Airdrie to Darlington followed by two of my uncles but two remain in Airdrie who I try to visit at least once a year.  

“My youngest son was born after my mother's death and he is always asking his older brother what he remembers. 

“They are both at the age now where they will understand and remember trips like this and I can't think of a more perfect trip to show them where my mother lived as a child than coming back to see the Diamonds.” 

For Airdrieonians chief executive Iain King the visit of the Berry family holds special significance on Academy Day. 

He said: “Wayne’s donation kickstarted the effort we must make to push the Academy forward. 

“He specifically asked for his donation to go to youth development and I am looking forward to welcoming him and his family to the game.”

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