Hibs star James McPake launches Clutha bar appeal

James McPake. Picture: Toby Williams
James McPake. Picture: Toby Williams
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HIBS star James McPake has launched a fundraising appeal for the victims of the Clutha tragedy.

The 29-year-old defender was moved to act after being asked by his former Livingston team-mate and current Norwich City star, Robert Snodgrass.

The rescue operation at the Clutha bar. Picture: Robert Perry

The rescue operation at the Clutha bar. Picture: Robert Perry

James, who was born in Bellshill and lives in Coatbridge, said: “I’ve been pals with Robert since we played together for Livingston Youth.

“We were talking about the Clutha tragedy and how shocking it all was and he said he was looking to come up with something to help out. Once he got it all set up I gathered a few prizes together.

“To be honest it’s a fantastic deal. Obviously it will appeal to Hibs fans most but I’m sure a few Hearts fans will dig deep to help out too, they could donate the prize to a Hibee.”

James announced the prize to his 3400 followers on Twitter and within minutes ­donations began pouring in.

He said: “The response so far has been tremendous.”

Premier League star Snodgrass hopes their combined efforts will raise well over £5000.

The 26-year-old said: “I want to play my part in helping to raise funds for all those affected by the Clutha Helicopter tragedy in Glasgow. I am a proud Scotland internationalist and a proud Glaswegian. I have been touched by the community spirit shown by all Glaswegians since the tragedy and want to use my profile to help the excellent fundraising effort in any way I can.” The November 29 tragedy shocked the country.

Three people were killed when the Police Scotland helicopter hit the popular boozer – killing seven more people inside. The cause of the crash is still being probed. A national appeal to help the families of victims has so far raised in excess of £220,000.

Up for grabs in McPake’s giveaway are tickets to games against Kilmarnock, Hearts, Aberdeen, St Mirren and Celtic plus a behind-the-scenes tour and a meet the players session at the St Mirren game.

A match jersey signed by McPake and a pair of gloves signed by goalkeeper Ben Williams also on offer. A mystery prize classed by McPake as “the best of the lot” is also available, the only clue that he would reveal was that it involves Hibs captain Liam Craig and the New Year Derby against Hearts.

To enter go to www.justgiving.com/local/project/cluthavictims and donate £10.

The entire haul – excluding the secret prize – is estimated to be worth £455.

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com