A CHARITY football match has been arranged to help support a Tullibody boy's bid to conquer his cerebral palsy.

Alfie McAusland was diagnosed with the condition at the age of two, having already survived major life-threatening surgery on his heart shortly after he was born.

Indeed, the complications in his infancy were so serious his parents were warned to fear the worst. Nevertheless, young Alfie defied all odds and came through a grueling 15-hour operation.

Later it became clear that Alfie's development difficulties were down to something other than his long-term recovery from surgery and he was found to have diplegic cerebral palsy.

Yet, the five-year-old continues to battle his condition and, along with his twin brother Blair, is due to begin school at Abercromby primary next week.

Parents Natalie and Chris are currently fundraising in the hope of providing Alfie with Advanced BioMechanical Rehabilitation (ABR) therapy – which could make him more mobile and independent.

The couple have set up a campaign on the Just 4 Children crowdfunding website and are hoping to raise around £15,000 to cover the cost of therapy for three years.

A number of events are being organised to support their efforts, with members of the community coming forward to help out.

Mum Natalie told the Advertiser: "Most options available in the future for Alfie with the NHS include painful procedures and painful recovery periods.

"Alfie knows he is different, but he's getting to the age now where he doesn't want anyone helping him and wants things for himself.

"He wants to walk, he just doesn't have the core stability to help him do it. That's what we want – we hope the therapy will help him do that. 

"Even him taking a few steps around the house, and maybe take himself to the toilet, that would make a big difference."

"It will be a lot for us too," she added. "My husband and I will be the ones to deliver the therapies, which will take around two hours a day.

"We're not expecting that Alfie will be able to walk himself to school next year, but we're hopeful ABR will lead to a big improvement over the next six months."

The couple held their first fundraiser earlier this month with a bag packing day at Morrisons in Alloa, raising more than £650 in the process.

And it is hoped that this Sunday's game at Menstrie Park, arranged by Craig and William Duncan, will be just as successful.

Kick off is 12.30pm with drinks and a prize raffle to follow at Menstrie Bowling Club.

Anyone wishing to donate prizes for the raffle can get in touch via the Alfie Wants to Walk Facebook page.

To make a donation to the campaign, visit http://just4children.org/children-helped-2016/alfie-wants-to-walk/