A SCOTTISH football legend made a brave Greenock dad's birthday after sending him a special message.

Alex McLeish, the former Rangers and Scotland manager, sent Marc Fairbairn a video wishing him a happy 30th birthday on Wednesday.

Marc, who is battling motor neurone disease (MND), said the message was organised by Blair Harvey from Gourock who works as a golf professional in Qatar.

Rangers fan Marc said: "Alex's video made me laugh.

"It was excellent to receive a message from him.

"He brought me a lot of joy growing up.

"I want to thank Blair Harvey for speaking to Alex McLeish."

In the message to Marc, treble-winning former Gers boss McLeish said: "I'm sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

"But I do also know you're raising funds, arranging dinners and raising awareness for this horrible illness.

"All power to you mate and, you never know, Rangers might still win that league this season - aye right!"

Marc, who lives in Nairn Road, was just 18 when he was diagnosed with MND - a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles.

He has lost the ability to walk and needs help with all the daily tasks that people take for granted.

He's also losing his voice and will eventually need help to breathe.

His family and friends and his nine-year-old daughter Emily have been a tower of strength to him throughout his illness.

Although he has had to self isolate to protect himself from the coronavirus, Marc still enjoyed a brilliant birthday.

He said: "We had planned to go out for a family meal but the virus situation meant a change of plans.

"My brother and his family came to the house instead with a takeaway.

"It was still special being able to spend the night with my loved ones.

"I was also supposed to be going out with the boys on Saturday but that's now postponed.

"My friend Danny said we'll make up for it when things are back to normal - I'll hold him to that.

"They sent me over a survival kit with shaving foam, beers and toilet roll and that made me laugh."

Marc says everyone had another reason to join in with a special toast.

He added: "It was a case for a double celebration as my friend Paul Stinson became a father on my 30th to Aidan James Stinson.

"I'm buzzing for him and his wife Kerri."

The Tele recently reported how Marc's best pals have organised two fundraising events for MND Scotland - a climb up Ben Nevis and a glittering ball in Greenock Town Hall.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jennifer-mcallister?