Scotty’s Little Soldiers: March player prepares to take part in rugby match world record attempt

Scottys Little Soldiers supporter Simon Whittaker with his 11-month old son MJ.

Scottys Little Soldiers supporter Simon Whittaker with his 11-month old son MJ. - Credit: Archant

A FORMER soldier who served in the same regiment as Corporal Lee Scott has spoken of his pride at being picked to play in a marathon rugby match in his memory.

Simon Whittaker, 40, from March, will be part of Scotty’s Little Soldiers’ world record attempt at Welford Road, the home of the Leicester Tigers, on May 31.

The charity was founded by Nikki Scott, from Walpole St Andrew, after her husband was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2009. It raises money to fund treats and trips for the children of members of the armed forces killed in action.

Mr Whittaker, who plays for March Bears, is preparing to play his part in the latest fund-raising effort - a 25-hour game of rugby.

“I knew Lee quite well and I served with him from when he joined up,” he said. “I was really keen to take part in this.

“I just wanted to do something to support Scotty’s Little Soldiers. They are doing so much for people who have lost their husbands or wives.

“Just to put smiles back on children’s faces - it’s moving to see. I wear all the Scotty’s Little Soldiers clothes as does my wife, son and daughter.”

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Mr Whittaker retired from the armed forces this year after 23 years of service which included tours of Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Cyprus.

In May, he will line up alongside fellow members of Scotty’s team for the equivalent of 19 back-to-back rugby matches against a combined armed forces side.

“I’m not nervous about playing for that long,” said the hooker. “I’m looking forward to the experience.

“It’s also helping me sort my fitness out - I’ve even been out and bought a racing bike to train for it!”

Each player hopes to raise £500 sponsorship to take part in the marathon match. Tickets are set to go on sale next month.