A DUMBARTON dad is getting ready to take on a 50-mile ultra marathon to aid a young Bankie who is battling cancer.

Robbie Readie had the upper part of his leg amputated to halt the spread of the disease.

And in a remarkable and unique surgery, his lower leg has now become his upper leg, with his ankle as his new knee.

Robbie used to play alongside Dominic Burns with Clydebank FC under 11s and Dominic’s dad, Paul, decided to take on the marathon challenge to help out his pal’s family.

Read more: Vale of Leven Autism and Aspergers Forum hold charity day

Paul will set off at 6am on Friday from Manchester’s Old Trafford stadium and arrive more than eight hours later at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. Known as the Team GB Ultra Marathon, Paul will be cheered on by wife Lesley-Anne and children Emma, Anna, Dominic and Jacob.

Robbie’s dad Robert explained how he collapsed suddenly to the floor in July 2018 in terrible pain and tests found the bone cancer in his right femur.

Doctors started chemotherapy but by October it was unclear if the treatment was working and gave Robbie two options.

One would have saved his leg but couldn’t guarantee they could fully get the tumour out.

The second surgery - called rotationplasty - would remove the upper leg, turn the lower leg around and attach his knee to his hip, with his foot pointing backwards.

Only the sixth such surgery in Scotland, keen footballer Robbie would be able to have more natural movement this way with a prosthetic. Doctors gave him some time to think.

Robert said: “Robbie is a very mature 14-year-old boy now. He came back a week later and said, ‘I have decided to go for the rotational’

“‘I want rid of this. I want to know it’s going to be gone completely and you don’t have to worry about it coming back.’”

A full 32cm was removed and a bit below the kneecap. Robbie’s tibia is now attached to his hip.

And after 13 hours of surgery, he was sitting up wiggling his toes. He’s started to retrain his brain for the movement in his right leg and has now started physiotherapy as he moves to the fourth of four types of chemo.

“He is now feeling a lot fitter and stronger,” said his dad. “He loved his football - that was his passion. He was captain for his school football team and on trial for Queen’s Park and Rangers.

“Once he gets his strength up, he is looking to do amputee football - he has been in touch with Amputee Football Association Scotland.

“He is looking forward to it. We all are.”

Read more: Charity wins top rating for youth support work

Paul, whose son plays with Dumbarton United, said: "This could be my lad - some fit lad, great at football gets a terrible diagnosis. What can we do to help out?

“There will be great pressure on mum and dad, and we want to raise as much as we can."

Visit the JustGiving page to contribute to Paul's marathon.