FORMER Scotland manager Alex McLeish has become an ambassador for a charity close to his heart.

The legendary player, manager and pundit has a close family connection with The Catherine McEwan Foundation, a Crohn’s and Colitis charity, as his sons Jon and Jamie suffer from the condition.

He said: “I know the McEwan family well so it’s great to be invited onboard.

“I’ll certainly be regarding the Foundation as one of my priorities and I will help the charity as much as possible.

“I’ve had a lot of awards in my career and not a bad football career, winning medals and stuff, but this is right up there with those things in terms of what it means to me. It is as important as anything in my working life.

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“It means every bit as much and is something that I will absolutely give everything to 100%.

“It’s very much a Scottish charity for Scottish people which I love. It is an amazing organisation.”

Alex and his wife Jill saw first-hand what it’s like living with the illnesses when their boys were struck down out of the blue.

And their inspirational battling of the conditions, and subsequent fundraising efforts, inspired Alex to join the Foundation.

Alex added: “Jon was the first victim, then Jamie… it just seemed to come from nowhere and they battled with it. I could see when they visited us or we visited them how horrible it was.

“It was painful for Jill and me as parents to watch our sons go through that. When you see them suffer you also feel the emotions and pain."