ONE was a slow-witted but kind-hearted man famous for comparing life to a box chocolates. 

The other is a 20-year-old who put his best foot forward to coin in more than £5000 for charity by running 100km in less than a day. 

Now, more than 25 years on from Tom Hanks’ hit film, East Renfrewshire finally has its answer to Forrest Gump. 

Generous Matthew Devlin, from Thornliebank, has been compared to the much-loved character after raising cash for Cerebal Palsy Scotland by completing the marathon challenge. 

Running and walking 100km – the equivalent of a round trip between Glasgow to Stirling – he completed his remarkable achievement in Rouken Glen Park, in Giffnock. 

Matthew’s route saw him pounding the streets of Thornliebank and Glasgow, having left the family home shortly after midnight.

He was inspired to take on the daunting task by the elder brother of his friend and former classmate, Michael O’Neill. 

Michael’s brother Dominic, 27, was born 14 weeks premature and suffered a bleed after three days which resulted in cerebral palsy.

A charity clearly dear to him, Matthew hopes his fundraising efforts can go a long way towards helping those with the condition.

He said: “Cerebral palsy affects approximately one in every 500 births and is something that is very close to my heart. The support that Cerebral Palsy Scotland offers can be life-changing and can make a huge difference to the quality of life of an individual. 

“I want my efforts to make a real difference to the lives of some amazing people.

“It was the honour of my life to get out there and run for such a worthy cause.

“The work that Cerebral Palsy Scotland carries out is nothing short of a miracle, and completely changes lives. I’ve seen this first-hand with Dominic.”

Matthew added: “The challenge itself was the most physically and mentally demanding activities I’ve ever undertaken, but with the support of my friends and family cheering me on we made it.”

Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood and around one in 500 births results in its diagnosis.

However, charities such as Cerebral Palsy Scotland rely on fundraising from the likes of Matthew in order to keep providing such essential support.

Claire O’Neill, mother of Dominic and Michael, explained the work that the charity carry out as she thanked Matthew for his efforts.

She said: “Therapists at Cerebral Palsy Scotland were the first to detect Dominic’s ability to communicate by blinking for yes and scowling for no, and have provided him with physiotherapy, occupation therapy and speech and language therapy since he was a year old.

“Matthew and all Michael’s friends have a great relationship with Dominic and have seen the great support provided by Cerebral Palsy Scotland to Dominic and our family.

“What Matthew has put himself through and what he’s managed to raise is incredible and will make a real difference to so many families across Scotland.”

But the last word was saved for Matthew’s proud mum, Kate Devlin. 

On hand to not only cheer on her boy, Kate also provided medical and physio support as he pushed himself to the limit.

And she couldn’t hide her pride as she compared Matthew to the star of the Hollywood blockbuster.

“Cerebral palsy is something very close to our hearts and we’re so proud of Matthew for finishing what we thought was impossible," she said. 

“He’s Thornliebank’s Forrest Gump.”

To donate to Matthew’s JustGiving page, visit here.