Lochlan Murdoch

Lochlan’s Legacy highlights diabetes and mental health


A charity created by a young boy from Cumnock has become a source of hope, support and inspiration for people living with type 1 diabetes. 

Founded by Lochlan Murdoch in October 2020, Lochlan’s Legacy has achieved nationwide recognition for its efforts to raise awareness of the mental health struggles that often coexist with type 1 diabetes, particularly in sport.

We spoke to Co-Founder, Lesley Murdoch, on how her son’s charity is highlighting an often overlooked side of living with the condition…

Lochlan Murdoch was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at four years old – a life-changing moment for any young person but one which would shape the course of his future in ways he could never have imagined. 

Shortly after his diagnosis, Lochlan discovered a love of football, and began playing every Saturday morning at Kilmarnock FC:


He loved it. For Lochlan, playing football was a sort of release from having type 1 diabetes. When he played football his focus was on kicking a ball, not on blood sugars or anything like that. It was all about having fun with his friends. After his confidence grew he signed to play for Cumnock Juniors when he was five-and-a-half years old.”

Unfortunately, Lochlan was involved in a freak accident in May 2018, fracturing his leg while competing in an Ayr International Tournament game. This injury and resulting recovery process were pivotal in Lochlan’s story and would go on to reveal an aspect of type 1 diabetes that neither he nor his family had ever anticipated:


“Lochlan ended up in a cast from his hip to his toe and required surgery on his knee. He was as upbeat as you can be when you’re in a full cast like that, though he still went to football and watched his teammates play. When he came out of his cast and was put into a leg brace things started to change for him and he thought he should be recovering more quickly than he was. At nine years old he just wanted to get back and start playing again. 

He then went back to school in August and he found that transition to be very challenging. He ended up withdrawing himself from a lot of things and the only place he would go was to go and watch Killie play. That was his lifeline. 

He ended up having a bit of a breakdown at school and admitted that he wasn’t coping. It turned out he was putting extra insulin into his pump to make sure his blood sugars were low, as an avoidance strategy. It meant he could avoid going outside to play as he knew he couldn’t take part in activities like his friends could. 

That was our introduction to the mental health challenges which surround type 1 diabetes.”

While awaiting mental health support, Lochlan opened up about his struggles and decided he wanted to do something to help others like himself:


“One in three people with type 1 diabetes will have a mental health challenge at some point in their lives. This is a fairly high number when you think about it.

Lochlan told other people how he was feeling and that takes a lot of courage, especially at such a young age. We got the help that we needed through the NHS and also some support ourselves, which was really positive. 

Once he’d fully recovered he decided he wanted to do something to make a difference and to raise awareness. That was the kind of turning point for Lochlan as he just felt people needed to know more about type 1 diabetes and the kind of mental health support that was required surrounding it.”

Determined to shine a light on type 1 diabetes and mental health, Lochlan combined his passion to make a difference with the only other thing which came close: His passion for football.

In April 2019, with the help of Greg McEwan (General Manager at Kilmarnock FC) a plan was set in motion for Lochlan’s first ever ‘Stadium Marathon’ – two walking laps of 14 football stadiums, over five days:


“With Greg’s help I contacted all the premier league football clubs in Scotland at the time, including Hampden and Cumnock Juniors, and helped Lochlan organise his first Stadium Marathon. He walked two laps (eight miles) around 14 stadiums, starting it on Tuesday night and completing it on Saturday morning at Rugby Park. 

He was doing pretty much four stadiums a day so we were touring about Scotland like mad people! It was great fun though and the support we got along the way was incredible.”

Lochlan’s Stadium Marathon raised over £10,500 for both the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the Kris Boyd Charity for mental health, a staggering achievement which earned him UK-wide recognition and an invitation to 10 Downing Street:


“After that first Stadium Marathon Lochlan was invited down to 10 Downing Street to meet with then Prime Minister Theresa May [who also has type 1 diabetes]. It was there he was encouraged to keep up the good work and continue raising awareness. 

Lochlan wanted to do more. We had a conversation on the train home…and that’s pretty much when the idea for Lochlan’s Legacy was born.”

Lesley and Lochlan then spoke with the Scottish Football Association (SFA), explaining the need for awareness of type 1 diabetes in sport:


“Football clubs know a lot about mental health supports etc. but not an awful lot about type 1 diabetes. We spoke with the SFA and said there is an absolute need for awareness. They completely agreed and helped us set up the charity, Lochlan’s Legacy, in October 2020. We then sent Lochlan on another stadium marathon!” 

Lochlan’s Legacy now offers professional development courses for sports coaches and clubs, providing a basic understanding of type 1 diabetes in sport. The charity has also delivered a programme to over 1,000 primary school pupils, aimed at reducing the stigma which still exists around type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Finally, Lochlan has also set up a youth group, which is funded by the National Lottery:


“We’re working with East and South Ayrshire Councils to hear the voices of all 12 to 18-year-olds. We’re hoping to get North Ayrshire involved too. The plan is to organise roadshows to raise awareness and give information to young people, whether they live with type 1 diabetes or not.”

Since then Lochlan’s Legacy has gone from strength to strength, with Lochlan returning to Westminster to host an event at Parliament in January 2023.

Lochlan will also deliver a TAD (Talk About Diabetes) Talk in Liverpool at the end of April this year after being invited by Professor Partha Kar, the Lead Clinician for NHS England:


“We’re hugely privileged to be asked down to such an amazing platform and meet so many other people who have lived with type 1 diabetes and are desperate for better awareness and change.”

Lochlan is also an ‘I Will’ Ambassador and British Citizen Youth Award winner. Most recently he received a Points of Light Award from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in July 2023.

Now 14-years-old, Lochlan’s achievements are truly awe-inspiring and show no sign of stopping.

We wish this Cumnock lad every success for the future and are sure Lochlan’s Legacy will continue to empower countless others the length and breadth of the country and lead the way for much-needed change.

Visit the Lochlan’s Legacy website to find out more.