EASTER Road erupted into applause during the 16th minute of today’s game in a touching tribute to tragic cancer victim Leon Rendle.
Hibs-mad Leon, 16, from Lochend, died at the end of last week following a battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
Fans marked his passing by breaking into a minute-long applause during the side’s clash against Alloa Athletic, with young and old alike rising to their feet to pay their respects.
It came in the midst of a match that would have brought a smile to the face of football-crazy Leon, as Hibs triumphed 3-0.
The teenager’s fight against cancer saw him endure rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and a stem cell transplant, with his bravery in the face of the disease inspiring thousands. In 2014, he was handpicked to carry a torch at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The youngster managed to fulfil many of his dreams in his final months, including meeting the Manchester United football squad and going on holiday to Paris.
Leon, a pupil at Leith Academy, passed away at his home early on Friday morning after his condition deteriorated.
Today also saw the memory of another tragic young cancer victim honoured, as hundreds turned out for a charity football match in tribute to Jak Trueman, who died last year at the age of just 15 following a battle with a rare form of blood cancer.
The fundraising clash saw his former team-mates and teachers from West Calder High School take on the Forth One All Stars at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena.
Among those in attendance was Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander, who struck up a close bond with the teenager before he died and is now patron of the Jak’s Journey charity. The tight game, which kicked off at 1.30pm, saw the Forth One All Stars squeeze to victory in penalties.
A minutes’ applause was held at the start as a mark of respect to Leon and his family, with Jak’s mum Allison Barr also paying tribute on Facebook.
She wrote: “Leon was the same age as Jak but sadly had a much longer and harder battle. He was another inspirational young man who always had a smile on his face regardless.
“Fly high beautiful boy and I know my boy will welcome you with open arms.”