Spartans Women hope to net big crowd for life-saver fundraiser

Spartans on a mission, left to right, Kerry Montgomery, Claire Crosbie and Danni Pagliarulo. Picture: Jane Barlow

Spartans on a mission, left to right, Kerry Montgomery, Claire Crosbie and Danni Pagliarulo. Picture: Jane Barlow

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A LADIES football club is backing the Shockingly Easy campaign to place life-saving defibrillations in sports clubs across the Lothians.

Spartans Women FC, based in Ainslie Park, has pledged to donate the gate receipts from its Edinburgh derby to the Jamie Skinner Foundation (JSF), set up in memory of the 13-year-old Hearts player who died after suffering a cardiac arrest on the football pitch.

The former Hearts youth player was making his debut for Tynecastle FC against a Spartans youth team when he tragically collapsed.

Now the football club has offered to donate the proceeds from their big match against Hibs Ladies on Sunday, in the hope of preventing further tragedies.

Mark Brown, vice chairman of the Spartans Women FC, said: “Our team secretary used to work alongside Karen Greechan – one of the founding members of the Foundation – and we just thought there must be a way to help. We had this big game coming up and we just thought it was a way to support a really good cause.

“It’s a particularly poignant game as Jamie passed away while playing one of the young Spartans teams.”

Backing the Evening News’ campaign, Mr Brown said the club has a defibrillator on site and urged other sports clubs to do the same.

He said: “For the sake of all the kids and adults who go through the Ainslie Park premises every week, it is important that these things are readily available.”

Some of the popular Liberton High School pupil’s family members will be coming along to the match on Sunday to show their support.

Jamie’s cousin, and co-founder of the Foundation, Ms Greechan said: “We are delighted to be coming along to Spartans to help promote the work carried out by the JSF.

“Our family never want this to happen to anyone else which is why we set up the Foundation.

“If the JSF help to save just one person’s life, Jamie’s family and friends will take comfort in the fact that his tragic death has helped someone else and prevented another family going through the heartbreaking loss that has happened to them.”

The Evening News joined forces with the family of Jamie Skinner to launch the Shockingly Easy campaign, to ensure there is a life-saving defibrillator machine in every sports centre in the Lothians.

The game starts at 2pm on Sunday at Ainslie Park, Pilton.

lizzy.buchan@edinburghnews.com