FRIENDS of a former Lochgelly High School teacher who lost his battle with cancer in March are taking on the ultimate golfing challenge to raise money for his legacy.

Countless pupils credit Raymond Fernie as pivotal in achieving their dream jobs through his work setting up an employability initiative at Lochgelly High and then through his role at Fife Council.

Now his loved ones and those who worked alongside him want to set up a foundation in his memory.

Ray's brother, David Fernie, along with his close friends, Grant McMahon, Keith Sturton and Graeme Mackay, hope to raise at least £4,000 by playing 72 holes of golf in a day.

A crowdfunding page was only set up last week but already the fundraiser has brought in more than £3,000.

Graeme, 39, from Limekilns, told the Times: "The amount already raised just affirms the effect Raymond had on all our lives and I am positive that with a concerted effort we can grow this amount.

"We all grew up in Limekilns together and moved away to different areas but we still played a lot of golf together.

"We thought we could do something fun which would go towards the foundation; youth employability was something Ray was so passionate about."

Ray, 58, a former dockyard worker lost his eight-year battle with prostate cancer on March 1.

Raymond first pioneered an employability initiative at Lochgelly High after local employer FiFab said pupils were not just not ready for the world of work.

He helped run workshops as well as connecting employers with the school to make sure employability skills were part of the curriculum.

He then took this blueprint to his role at Fife Council.

The news of his death has shocked the community with many not even knowing that Raymond was ill.

Graeme continued: "He was a very private person to the point where I didn't know about it.

"I found out that he had passed first thing the next morning, it was a complete shock, but it just re-iterated who he was.

"It's horrendous to lose him but nothing to what his family are going through.

"It is really, really difficult."

Ray's wife, Shireen, said: "It's really nice to see the support and I have to thank them and the people who have donated so far.

"A couple of pubs are planning to do some events too so it's a great start to getting some set up and we really would like to have an award in his name.

"The donations have been great but it's all really testament to the type of person Ray was."