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Secret millionaire leaves £1.2m to charities

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Windfall for charities after secret millionaire bequeaths practically all his savings to four charities

A former merchant seaman who lived in an ex-council house in Shotts, North Lanarkshire, has stunned friends and family by leaving around £1.2m to charities in his will.

Iain Russell, 76, spent 40 years in the merchant navy building up the savings but died as a result of a brain haemorrhage in October last year.

His friends and family were shocked after it was revealed he had £550,000 in bank accounts, £450,000 in cash and stocks, and £144,000 in a bank on the Isle of Man.

Russell left £62,000 to friends and family but bequeathed the rest of his to four charities, who will receive around £290,000 each

Russell left £62,000 to friends and family but bequeathed the remainder to four charities who will receive around £290,000 each.

Diabetes Scotland, MacKenzie Fund for Heart Cardiology,the Guild of Benevolence of the Institute of Marine Engineering and the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) will all receive windfalls.

A spokeswoman said: "Mr Russell had been a member of the Institute and a supporter of the guild for more than 40 years.

"The trustees greatly appreciate being one of the four charities to benefit from the residue of Mr Russell's estate."

A Diabetes Scotland spokesman said: 'We are incredibly grateful for people like the late Mr Russell who remember the work of our charity with a gift in their will.

"These gifts are vital for helping us make a big difference to the lives of people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition."

An RNIB Scotland spokesman added: "RNIB very much depends on the generosity of the public to help us help blind and partially people, and to work to tackle preventable sight loss."