Inspiration Award 2009 Print

TACC Inspiration Award 2009


Sean Mason - Addiewell, West Lothian

Nominated by Daniel Lambie, Sean’s Step-father

In 2009 we set out to find a young person who would inspire us, and in turn inspire Scotland’s supporters. Our choice was Sean Mason from Addiewell, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Sean’s prize was to be the mascot at Hampden against Czech Republic, and to receive a wee trophy from Craig Levein.


Here is Sean’s story….


“Sean is an inspiration to all around him. Despite having severe mental and physical health challenges, Sean is a loving, happy and positive young man.

Sean has a rare form of cerebral palsy, which causes severe mobility and learning difficulties. Now aged 13, he has the capacity of a 1 year old.

His family, school and neighbours are all inspired by the way Sean copes with his challenges and keeps smiling. Sean especially loves music and sport. His first word, and I'm not making this up, was 'Scotland', which he shouted during the Scotland vs. Faroe Isles game a couple of years ago!”


“Sean's digestive system doesn't work well, which means that one or two nights a week he is up all night being sick. Despite this he remains happy and contented, which his mother and I take inspiration from. It certainly puts our troubles into perspective and teaches us a few things about the benefits of a positive attitude.

Recently I took Sean to an Airdrie match. As usual we were playing rubbish and getting beaten. A few men around us started shouting and screaming at the players. Sean took out some playing cards and passed these on to the men. It certainly inspired them to calm down!

At the Festival last year, Sean and his mum were going down the Royal Mile. A group of despondent looking performers were sat slumped on the pavement. Sean gestured loudly as one of them had a guitar. He demanded that he and his mother sat there until the performers started playing. At the end they gave him and his mum free tickets to the show.”

School life

Sean goes to a special needs school in Livingston named Beattlie's. It has a curriculum designed to help each child achieved their potential. Sean is doing very well there, and is learning to use cards to indicate what he wants. He also has special therapy classes which help him with his mobility and feeding himself.

Sport and music

“Anytime Sean comes across any sport or music he demands that we stay and watch it. He is fascinated by colours and round things, so is particularly fond of football.

He is obsessed by all music, but particularly guitars and drums. He has toy kits in his room and frequently wakes us up with a 6am concert.

Though he has a limited attention span, the two things Sean will watch most on television are music videos and football. Keeps him popular with his mum!”


Sean is very alert, but has no real language skills. He finds ways to let us know what he wants through basic sign language. He can walk but only short distances. He is capable of following simple instructions (if he wants to) and is a very sociable and trusting boy.


Sean was nominated by his father Daniel Lambie. Here is his nomination form.....

My son Sean, by Daniel Lambie

Football, or at least the parlance around it, is a game of clichés. Hackneyed phrases flood the airwaves, pundits make handsome livings recycling familiar sound bites. One word that pops up more than most is pride. Whether uttered by the Glaswegian brogue of the godfather of the modern game, Alex Ferguson, or the hysterical soccer mom squealing with delight from the sidelines of their child’s Sunday morning game, pride is a word so overused to have lost much of its gravitas.

So I’m nervous to start this article with maybe the biggest cliché of all.

But pride is appropriate.

Our son, Sean, made a brief appearance on the hallowed Hampden turf as a mascot in the Scotland versus Czech Republic match. To his mother and I, this was the defining statistic. While the commentators and pundits pontificated over Craig Levein’s first game in charge, the return of prodigal sons, the first friendly win in a decade and a half, we left the match with our very own sense of pride.

Like so many who grace the playing surface of the national stadium, Sean’s appearance, sat in a wheelchair in an oversized Adidas jacket, was the culmination of an arduous personal journey. Throughout he pushed himself beyond the limits others had set for him, overcame setbacks with the determination that separates the champions from the also-rans.

Sean’s cerebral palsy, we’d like to think, was not the reason he was there. His award as TACC’s inspirational child of the year was much more about how he has not only coped with the hand dealt him, but shook it vigorously and nonchalantly. As Sean’s carers, we are charged with providing him comfort. Ironic then that it is his bright demeanour and simple contentment that offer us, and many others around him, a comfort (and perspective) no-one else can provide.

In the chill of the tunnel, snorting gladiators became hypnotized by the ninety minutes ahead. Deep heat brought tears to the eye. Darius leapt excitedly. Sean sat impassively beside Graham Dorrans, a terrified looking debutant.

The players moved en masse onto the turf, greeted by flag waving and the howls from the crowd. As fireworks shot into the dark Glaswegian sky, one of the other mascots turned and ran back into the tunnel, frightened by the spectacle.

Sean looked small and further away than his nervous parents would have liked, but also decidedly pleased with himself.

Darius struggled through a unique rendition of Flower of Scotland and Sean joined in, even trying to grab at the cameraman’s lens for an extended and exclusive slice of televised fame.

And then, all too soon, his appearance was over.

He spent the rest of the match blowing excitedly on his kazoo, even rising from his chair to join in the celebrations following Scott Brown’s winner. As a boy with a very limited attention span, someone more usually hidden in an obsessive world of matching shapes and peculiar collections, he showed a focus and concentration throughout the evening that surprised us.

For days afterwards he remained on a high. Any glimpse of football on the television was greeted by a leap and squeal. Being the inspirational child of the year had, for Sean, been an inspiration.

His brief appearance did not make the match reports. It will not make as much as a footnote in the historical annals of our national game.

But for Sean, his mother and I, it will be a memory that ranks beside the great performances of Law, Dalglish, McFadden et al.

So the article finishes as it started - with a cliché.

The boy done good.








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