Hundreds pay respects to Jamie in football tribute

Ryan Beveridge on the ball at the Jamie Drysdale Memorial Match. ''Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Ryan Beveridge on the ball at the Jamie Drysdale Memorial Match. ''Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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Hundreds of people turned out to cheer on a charity football match in memory of a tragic teenager found dead on his bedroom floor.

Sports-mad Jamie Drysdale, 18, passed away in February at his family home in Kirkliston just ten minutes after mum Kathryn had woken him up to ask him to walk the dog.

Despite frantic attempts to revive Jamie – who had epilepsy – he had died by the time paramedics arrived.

On Saturday, almost 300 friends and family came together to stage a charity football match at Kirkliston Leisure Centre to raise funds for Epilepsy Scotland in memory of the teenager, who was an ardent Hearts fan.

The two teams – the Gorgie Boys and Maroon Toon, both made up of Jamie’s friends – battled it out on the pitch in a tight game that saw them draw 6-6, before the Gorgie Boys eventually secured victory in a 
penalty shoot-out.

Jamie’s cousin, Hazel Drysdale, 26, said the match had been the “perfect tribute” to the teen, raising more than £7700 for charity.

She said: “It was fantastic and an absolutely brilliant turnout. It was all done through the boys – they all sorted it out among themselves. It was the perfect tribute – Jamie was a massive Hearts fan, so it was the best way to remember him.

“The atmosphere was very upbeat and everybody was having a good time as far as I could see.”

Friends and family took to Facebook to pay tribute to an “amazing boy” they would remember for the rest of their lives.

Seona Lee Noble said: 
“Fantastic match played by both teams – the perfect way to honour Jamie. Well done Gorgie Boys for winning in the end. It was all so well put together.”

And Naomi Watford added: “Awesome day! Superb game and a massive amount raised. So privileged to be able to be part of it – and minimal injuries. Jamie would be so proud of all of you. Well done.”

A fundraising raffle saw a variety of prizes dished out – including a signed Hearts football donated by defender Callum Paterson, who also came along to watch the game, pose for photographs and sign autographs.

The club had sent a letter of condolence to the family and a wreath for Jamie’s funeral.

Jamie had been diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 13, but medication had brought his condition under control and he had not suffered a seizure in the 18 months leading up to his death.

His family believes he may have suffered from Sudden Death in Epilepsy, a rare condition which affects just one in 1000 people, but is still waiting on a report from the procurator fiscal to lay the matter to rest.

As well as football, former Queensferry High School pupil Jamie loved playing bowls and golf in between his time at West Lothian College, where he was studying computing.

He is survived by mum Kathryn, 50, and dad Kenny, 54, as well as his younger siblings Katie, 11, and Callum, 17, who is autistic and also has learning difficulties.

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com