Club snaps up defib in ‘gentle giant’ tribute

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A FOOTBALL club has netted more than £1300 to purchase a life-saving defibrillator in memory of a beloved kit man who died after suffering a heart attack last year.

Bonnyrigg Rose were inspired to buy the vital kit which might have saved the life of committee member Craig Devine, who had a heart attack in May 2013 during a game against Linlithgow Rose at Prestonfield.

The 46-year-old was carrying a tray of refreshments back to the pitch when he collapsed in the changing rooms.

Friends and supporters tried to resuscitate him but he later died at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Club secretary Robert Dickson said: “Only a year ago we had one of our committee members suffer a heart attack and he sadly passed away.

“We decided we had to do something about this as it could really have helped someone like Craig.”

The club has backed the Evening News’ Shockingly Easy campaign, which was launched in memory of 13-year-old footballer Jamie Skinner who died last year after suffering a 
cardiac arrest on a Saughton playing field.

Mr Dickson, 50, said: “When everything happened to the lad Jamie Skinner, we thought we should fundraise in memory of Craig.

“They can be helpful not just for players but for a spectator or for anyone who works there.

“We are glad to have the equipment there now although we don’t want to use it.”

Mr Dickson, added: “A lot of football clubs are getting these things and I think it’s an important piece of equipment to have.”

The family of Mr Devine has been supportive of the appeal, and made a generous donation towards the club’s fundraising target.

Mr Dickson said: “He was very committed to the football club and a very loyal supporter. We miss him very much.”

The popular kit man – who has been described as a “gentle giant” – had been involved with Bonnyrigg Rose for more than 17 years, having moved to the town as a child.

A Facebook page set up in his memory last year called Craig Devine the Gentle Man has garnered more than 600 likes.

The team was able to raise the funds through a charity football match with Hearts and a series of live music nights.

It also benefited from generous donations from players and supporters.

Bonnyrigg Rose have now installed the medical equipment in their clubhouse at New Dundas Park, where it will be easily accessible to all.

Staff and committee members are planning to take part in a defibrillator training course in the new year.

The Shockingly Easy campaign, which is run in partnership with the Jamie Skinner Foundation, has raised tens of thousands of pounds as well as seeing a surge in interest from sports venues offering to take on the heart-start machines.

* Mothercare at Fort Kinnaird is offering the chance to win a giant teddy in a raffle to raise funds for the foundation. CAMPAIGN HOTSPOT

Did you know?

The chances of dying if you have an undiagnosed cardiac condition can fall by up to 90 per cent after taking part in heart screening.

Jamie’s pals play game in his memory

FRIENDS of tragic footballer Jamie Skinner held a memorial match to raise funds for the charity set up in his name.

A minute’s silence was held at the beginning of the game between Liberton under-16s and Penicuik on Sunday at Liberton playing fields, to mark the anniversary of Jamie’s death.

Liberton coach Steven Cairns said: “It was the players’ idea to organise it so all credit to them for it.

“We held bucket collections and we managed to raise a bit of money which we still need to count.

“It went really well. It was a great game.”

Liberton were victorious over their rivals by six goals to two.