Say hello to our 2023 Battle of the Badges Team Fire Mascots and Players!
All of our amazing mascots have been supported by The Archie Foundation, whether at one of the NHS Grampian sites we support or through Archie’s Child Bereavement Service. They can’t wait to see their players battle it out!
We’d love it if you took the time to read why our mascots are taking part in the special event!
Read their stories below! ❤️
Remember, there is still time to buy your tickets! – Click here!
Our Mascot and Player Teams!
Player: Team Captain Matthew Cowe
About Izzy: Izzy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on the 9th January 2023. She has been so brave and positive about everything so far and that has been helped by the support and care we have received from everyone at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. Izzy would love to show her appreciation for this by helping to raise money to help support more families like us. We as a family were so grateful to receive a room in the Parent accommodation for the initial month we were in hospital alongside the huge amount of other support we were given, we would jump at the chance to help The Archie Foundation carry on providing such amazing support.
Player: Peter Gillson
About Owen: Owen has attended Battle of the Badges a few times. He is so excited to be a mascot for Team Fire as his Dad works for the Fire Service. Owen can’t wait to support the teams and help raise awareness and raise lots of money to help The Archie Foundation.
Player: Matthew Crabb
About Lucy: Lucy is a hardcore Archie ambassador! Her fundraising efforts have been relentless throughout some of the hardest years in her life. Lucy can’t wait to be a Battle of the Badges mascot once again
Aiden really wanted to be a mascot for Battle of The Badges because he has fundraised for the Archie Foundation before and has also donated toys to RACH. In September last year, Aiden broke his collarbone and he received great care from the team at Children’s A&E and as such wants to give something back.
Also, Aiden LOVES football! He loves playing football, watching football and he also loves fundraising so this is a perfect fit for him. His favourite teams are Ross County, Aberdeen, Scotland and Arsenal.
A fun fact about Aiden is that he and his brother featured on a tv programme called ‘Scotland’s people’ last December on which they were honoured for their fundraising that they have done over the past four years.
Aside from football he loves learning about space. He is very knowledgeable about country flags and he also loves to dance!
Owen is a firefighter at North Anderson Drive. He has been in the service for two years. This will be Owen’s first Battle of the Badges. Owen said, “I think BOTB is a great event that gives an opportunity to raise as much money possible for a great cause, along with getting to meet and create a bond with the mascots, I am really looking forward to it!”
To donate to Aiden and Owen click HERE
Allannah, Kieran Sangster and Charlie Malcolm
Kieran and Allannah
Kieran loves to do fundraising events, especially since it’s football related too as he is football crazy.
This will be Alannah’s first fundraiser that she will probably take notice of, as she was a baby when the family had undertook charity events in the past. Alannah loves to watch her brother play football and cheers him on. They are both very excited to be involved!
Charlie is a retained Firefighter from Stonehaven and has been in the job for a little over three years. Last year was Charlie’s debute in the Battle of the Badges competition. Charlie told us, “It felt pretty good to get the win after a fiercely competitive game with the police and will be looking to keep the trophy again this year with another win! I know The Archie Foundation do lots of amazing things so I’m excited to help raise money for them.”
To donate to Kieran, Allannah and Charlie click HERE
Charlie McGirr and Ryan Stuart
Charlie was desperate to be part of battle of the badges in person this year as the past two years have been cancelled/virtual so he can’t wait to be part of it in person. Charlie has met some very special people through The Archie Foundation and wanted to give a little bit back! He is also football mad so this is perfect!
Charlie is a huge Aberdeen FC fan and has a season ticket. His favourite footballer is Christiano Ronaldo.
Ryan is a firefighter at Central Community Fire Station in Aberdeen and lives in Strathdon. He currently play football for Aboyne FC and this is his 3rd time taking part in Battle of the Badges. Ryan said, “Battle of the Badges is such a great event, what I enjoy most about the event is the engagement with the mascots and bonding with them, all whilst raising money for a great cause in The Archie Foundation!”
To donate to Charlie and Ryan click HERE
Ayla Mair and Peter Gillson
Ayla is very excited to cheer on her player and support such a fantastic fundraiser. Ayla loves football and can’t wait to take part. She likes going to school and playing on her trampoline.
Peter, is a 24 year old firefighter based in Aberdeen. This will be his first time participating in Battle of the Badges, he decided to take part in BOTB because he wanted to fundraise for the charity and promote all the fantastic work that The Archie Foundation offers.
To donate to Ayla and Peter click HERE
Emily Paul and Lyndain O`Brien
Emily is nine years old, and has been supported by The Archie Foundation her whole life. Emily was diagnosed with VACTERL syndrome at birth and has been in and out of hospital for operations her whole life. Emily thrives in everything she does and her condition never affects her doing whatever she likes in her life, she’s willing to try absolutely anything, and especially loves participating in sports.
The Archie Foundation have always supported Emily during her visits to the hospital and made the stay more enjoyable and comfortable for her. The family will forever be grateful for the support received by The Archie Foundation, which is why Emily’s dad continues to raise thousands of pounds for the charity every year through his gym in Dyce.
Lyndain is a firefighter based at Balmoral. He told us, “I am really looking forward to taking part in Battle of the Badges again, with my new mascot Emily Paul. I’m the goalkeeper for Team Fire, which means there’s a lot on me to help retain our champion title! Go Team Fire!”
To donate to Emily and Lyndain click HERE
James Slater and Jason Morrison
James is incredibly excited to be part of BOTB and is extremely thankful of all the hard work the The Archie Foundation, Police and Fire Service’s do for us all. James loves football, supports Aberdeen and his favourite player is Joe Lewis.
To donate to James and Jason click HERE
Dylan Strachan and Ryan Clark
Dylan is a 12 year old football crazy boy! On paper Dylan has Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus, Epilepsy and a visual impairment so he has spent a fair bit of time at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. When you meet him you would never guess all that he has going on, he is the friendliest, kindest boy you could meet and he always has a smile on his face. Ever since he could bum-shuffle around, he has had a football at his feet. He likes to go with his Granda to watch Cove Rangers play but he does get a bit bored as he would rather be on the pitch kicking a ball. So when the opportunity to be a mascot I knew he would love it.
Dylan’s mum said, “A memory popped up on Facebook that made me laugh. He was 5 he asked me to play football (again!) I was a bit fed up so asked if we could play something different for a change. Straight away he said no problem – let’s play party. I asked him how we would play that. He replied “you kick a ball to me and I’ll kick it back to you!”
Ryan has been in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for 6 years having joined in 2016. This will also be his 3rd appearance at the Battle of the Badges against the Scottish Police.
To donate to Ryan and Dylan, click here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ryanclark18
Kai Allan-Barrie and Matt Smith
Kai wanted to be involved with the Battle of the Badges because he would love to raise money for The Archie foundation as they do an amazing job and with Kai having been in and out of hospital he has seen the amazing work they do, he also loves the amazing work the police and the fire service do and he would love to be a police man when he is older.
Fun fact about Kai – If he could have any pet in the world he would have a sloth as they are his favourite animal.
Matt is a 29 year old crew commander at Aberdeen central fire station. BOTB 2022 will be the third time Matt has taken part in the competition. Matt said, “With the standard of football and competition increasing every year it’s a very exciting event to take part in, however the opportunity that it allows for us to raise some vital funds for Archie and to support the great work that it does is invaluable.”
To donate to Kai and Matt click HERE
Cara and Emily Slater and Rebecca Dempster
Cara and Emily
Cara loves supporting The Archie Foundation as a way of saying thank you to all the amazing Doctors and Nurses who kept her and her triplet brother and sister well during their stay in Aberdeen Neonatal Unit. Cara wants to be an explorer when she grows up.
Emily is extremely excited to help support The Archie Foundation as she is very grateful for all the support her and her siblings were given during their stay in the Aberdeen Neonatal unit and she wants to ensure they have sufficient resources to continue to help other children. Emily loves dancing and gymnastics and her favourite animal is dogs.
Rebecca retired from professional football three years ago and joined the Aberdeen Fire Service in June 2021. Rebecca said, “I am really looking forward to taking part in Battle of the Badges competition!”
To donate to Cara, Emily and Rebecca click HERE
Eli Cooper and Mark Cooper
Eli is three years old and is a fun loving little boy with the most amazing energy. Eli loves nothing more then to be outside all day and getting as dirty as he possibly can! His favourite things are playing football with his daddy or going out on his bike and walking his dog Sully.
Mark is a 32 years old firefighter at Red Watch Central Fire Station Aberdeen. Mark said, “I have the best job in the world. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than being able to use my skills to do what I can to help the public in any way I can. I’ve chosen to play this year because of the work I have seen that The Archie Foundation do day in and day out, so to be able to participate and contribute towards this amazing cause is exciting. I have a family friend’s daughter who spends a lot of time in Aberdeen’s Children Hospital with cystic fibrosis and I see what they do for her so it’s only right that I play my part towards this. I am looking forward to the big day and looking forward to meeting all the mascots and everyone involved. Team Fire will retain this trophy!”
To donate to Eli and Mark click HERE
Gabriel-Shane Emslie and Dylan Will
Gabriel-Shane was born four months premature (born 25 weeks pregnant) weighing 1lb 4oz, surviving twin 1. When born he had a grade three bleed on the brain, he was on life support first nine weeks, stopped breathing and back on life support until 11 weeks old. He had surgery at 15 weeks old for umbilical and both hernia’s. After 16 weeks in Aberdeen Neonatal Unit he came home. During the first six months of home life he was very sick, he stopped breathing three times and had to be resuscitated each time by his dad and was also diagnosed with egg, dairy and soya allergies. He suffered constant ear, nose and throat infections, hospitalised with RSV and at two years old had to undergo surgery where his lung collapsed & back on life support. Due to all this, he had a liquid diet until he was four years old.
Gabriel’s parents were told he would walk but probably never run or do sports due to his prematurity, brain bleed, asthma and the length of time on life support which damaged his lungs giving him 60% function and ultimately CLD (chronic lung disease). As well as this Gabriel has learning and processing disabilities.
For the first five years of his life Aberdeen Children’s Hospital was like a 2nd home.
Gabriel is now 16 years old, currently working hard doing Nat 5’s and DoE Silver. He has achieved his Nat 5 in PE and plays basketball, football and ran the Balmoral 5k in April in just 23 minutes after joining a running club with mum and only started running in February 22.
He has never let his start in life hold him back and if he can’t do or understand something he just keeps trying and trying till he does.
Dylan is 28 years old and is a retained firefighter at Inverurie fire station. He works fulltime for Aberdeenshire Council as a workshop foreman. In his spare time he loves spending time with his family and watching the football and formula 1.
Connor Simpson and Matthew Crabb
Connor lives in Turriff and is looking forward to being a mascot at Battle of the Badges. Connor took great delight in playing with the toys provided by Archie and enjoyed the Archie playpark very much during his time in hospital. Connor loves playing with his brother Jamie and his sister Sophie and he looks forward to cheering on his player Matthew on the day!
This is Matthew’s second game for Scottish fire & Rescue Service for Battle of the Badges. He has been in a full time role with Scottish fire & Rescue for 2 years as a Support Watch Commander for Kincardine, Mearns and Angus. Matthew said, “I am a big supporter of the Archie foundation and everything they do and any opportunity I get to raise some money for them I jump at, as it really is a fantastic cause.”
To donate to Connor and Matthew click HERE
Jack Arthur and Ryan Milne
Jack is five years old and from Laurencekirk. He is a football daft little lad and plays for St Laurence Youth football club. Jack supports Aberdeen and Manchester United. His favourite players is Ronaldo and has his celebration down to a tee! Jack is super excited to be a mascot for Battle of the Badges and can’t wait to help The Archie Foundation.
Ryan, 26 and from Brechin is process engineer for a textile company and a retained firefighter based at Brechin Community Fire Station. His hobby is purely football – if he’s not playing it, he’s watching it and if he’s not watching it, he’s talking about it. It is for that reason that when he got invited to participate in Battle of the Badges, of which this year will be his debute, it was an absolute no brainer. Ryan said, “I love serving and being able to help my community through the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and I see this as an extension of that responsibility. Having the opportunity to combine my main hobby with some much-needed fundraising to help a local charity is one I value greatly and I am relishing. I am looking forward to being assigned and meeting my mascot, commencing with the fundraising and of course, the match.”
To donate to Jack and Ryan click HERE