Generous Scots back Jamie Skinner foundation

The family of Jamie Skinner, who died aged 13 after suffering a suspected heart attack during his first game for Tynecastle FC under-14s, are to set up a charity foundation.
The family of Jamie Skinner, who died aged 13 after suffering a suspected heart attack during his first game for Tynecastle FC under-14s, are to set up a charity foundation.
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THE Family of Jamie Skinner are set to create a charity foundation to supply life-saving equipment thanks to the generosity of the public.

Jamie, 13, from Edinburgh, collapsed and died during a game after suffering a suspected heart attack on the pitch in Edinburgh last December.

His family want to set up a foundation to supply life-saving defibrillators to schools and sports teams but need at least £5000 to achieve charitable status.

It now seems all but certain they will easily smash that target after football clubs, businesses and other organisations donated scores of items for an auction and raffle in April.

Among the generous donations area signed Rudi Skacel top from Hearts, a Newcastle strip signed Kevin Keegan, a signed ball from Hibs, signed strips from Celtic and Rangers, a signed pendant from Manchester United and an array of gifts and vouchers from local businesses.

And shoppers handed over £1,400 in a single supermarket bag-packing event.

Jamie’s siblings Sonia and Tony hope to be able to set up the Jamie Skinner Foundation as an official charity following the event on April 12.

Sonia McCraw, 29, said: “We can’t believe how generous and kind people have been. Everyone just seems to want to help.

“Donations and prizes have just been flooding in every single day and now they’re taking up a whole cupboard in my house even though not everything has arrived yet. It’s crazy.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the sporting world and have stuff from Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and even Manchester United. It’s really overwhelming.”

She added: “At the end of the day though we want Jamie to be remembered and don’t want another family to go through losing someone they love because there isn’t a defibrillator near by.

“We really want to see them everywhere and to help get people trained on how to use them if they ever have to. Heart problems don’t just affect older people.

“We’re taking each day as it comes and of course we have bad days when we miss Jamie loads but keeping busy is really helping us all.

“We’re determined for his memory to live on so his litter sister, Ashley, who’s one this month, can see how loved her big brother was.”

Jamie was playing his debut game for Tynecastle FC under-14s against Spartan FC on December 22 when he collapsed during the second half.

Despite members of the public and even a nurse rushing to Jamie’s side, he was declared dead at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary shortly later.

Two members of staff at the Saughton Sports Complex, which is run for Edinburgh Council by the arms length company Edinburgh Leisure, were suspended and later fired.

They are believed to have appealed this decision.