Cancer victim Peter Ashton laid to rest in Hearts kit

Peter Ashton with Hearts captain Alim Ozturk

Peter Ashton with Hearts captain Alim Ozturk

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A 14-YEAR-OLD leukaemia victim will wear his beloved Hearts football strip when he is laid to rest in a coffin designed in the club’s colours.

Football-mad Peter Ashton died last week, only days after writing on Facebook that his body was “giving up”.

Hundreds of mourners are expected to pay tribute to the schoolboy at Danderhall’s Newton Church tomorrow by wearing their favourite football colours and scarves.

The Newbattle Community High pupil will be buried in the Hearts kit, while his coffin will bear the maroon colours and badge of his beloved team.

“It’s hard to think that today is going to be the last day we can see him, it’s so horrible,” Peter’s father, Jason, said.

Peter’s family, including mother Mary and sister Gemma, 12, will attend Hearts’ game against Motherwell at Tynecastle following the funeral to remember the teenager.

Jason, 41, said that going to the game would be a fitting tribute to Peter, who kept an online diary as he fought the illness.

The family admitted it had been overwhelmed by condolence messages from Peter’s friends, online followers and fellow Hearts supporters, who applauded Peter’s bravery at Saturday’s away match against Dundee.

“It’s been remarkable,” Jason said.

Peter’s grandmother, Joan Croach, said that she and her only grandson used to tease each other about following Edinburgh’s rival football teams.

Although Joan is a Hibby, she is forgetting team loyalty in Peter’s memory.

She will become an “honorary Hearts fan” on the day of the funeral, wearing the squad’s colours.

Mourners are being asked to give donations to cancer charities the John Hartson Foundation and CCLASP.

Both organisations offered support to the family during Peter’s diagnosis and treatment.

The John Hartson Foundation helped create a “man cave” for the youngster.

Peter’s one wish was to have his own space at his home in Mayfield, Dalkeith, where he could spend time with his friends to relax and watch television.

Peter, who died last Tuesday, did not live to see the finished creation but the charity has pledged to complete the project.

It plans to provide his younger sister with a space to have time to herself 
instead.

The popular pupil, who was in his third year of high school when he was diagnosed in October, spent months receiving treatment at the Sick Kids hospital.

He underwent a bone marrow transplant at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow in May.

Peter’s funeral will be held at Newton Church, Danderhall, tomorrow at 2pm.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com