Football match in aid of crash victims’ family

Daniel Marr, Sean Cunningham, Grant McDermid and Liam Power.   Picture:  Ian Rutherford
Daniel Marr, Sean Cunningham, Grant McDermid and Liam Power. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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ORGANISERS of a charity football match are hoping to raise thousands for the family of a tragic couple whose happy life together was cut short by a horror crash.

Christina Vibert, 26, and her partner Ross Graham, 22, were on their way to Ikea to buy furniture for their two-week-old baby daughter Cali when they were involved in a collision with a lorry at Clovenstone Roundabout in Wester Hailes on January 6.

Christina and Ross

Christina and Ross

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, Ross, described as “a devoted father” died at the scene while mother-of-two Christina, who required facial reconstructive surgery, was told she faced years of recuperation after she woke from a month-long coma following the crash.

Distraught family members were also faced with the heart-breaking task of telling hair-dressing student Christina that Ross had not survived.

Now friends of the couple have pulled together to organise a charity football match in memory of Ross, who was a dedicated Hibs fan. All money raised will go to Christina and her two daughters, Demi, six, and Cali, who was born only weeks before her father’s death.

Organiser Grant McDermid, 25, of Sighthill, said: “I had known Ross since I was very young, his grandparents lived three doors down from me.

“After the accident we were all in shock, but we knew we wanted to do something to try and help. We’d all played football together when we were younger, so it seemed like the obvious thing to do, then the whole thing just snowballed.”

The match will see a team from Sighthill, including Grant and fellow organiser Liam Power, taking on a team from Calder.

Liam, 23, also of Sighthill, said: “We used to play Sighthill versus Calder when we were kids. We’ve got sponsorship, everyone who is playing was a friend of Ross’s and they have all made a donation. We’re asking those who come to watch to donate too and we’ll be holding a raffle after the game.

“We’re confident of raising over £1000, all of which will go to Cali and Demi. It wouldn’t be possible without the support of Heriot Watt and all the people who have donated prizes to be raffled, so we would like to extend our deepest thanks to them for helping us to make this happen.”

It also emerged that Christina has been transferred from the Western General to the Astley Ainslie Hospital on Grange Loan, which specialises in post acute care and rehabilitation medicine services.

Liam continued: “Christina is said to be doing better now and was moved a couple of weeks ago. The movement in her arms and legs is said to be improving and I’ve heard she’s also coming to terms with the fact that Ross has gone. We just hope this will take a little bit of the weight off her shoulders.”

The match will take place on May 25 at Heriot-Watt’s 
Riccarton Campus.

We revealed in February that Christina was communicating with doctors via hand signals after being roused from a month-long coma.

jen.lavery@edinburghnews.com