IT’S been quite a year for these Hibs fans – first seeing their side finally lift the Scottish Cup before scooping a £1 million lottery windfall.
But now the ‘ScottieHibbies’ have been dishing out the gifts after visiting youngsters at the Sick Kids hospital.
The six-stong syndicate of retired friends took on the role of Santa before handing out DVD players and a stash of films to help keep patients and their brothers and sisters entertained during long days on the wards.
Named after their old local The Scottie Pub and their love of Hibs, the syndicate – Douglas Gibson, 72, William Mackie, 65, Jim Robertson, 66, David Hannan, 65, David Hastie, 71, and Stewart McLaren, 73, – won the life-changing money in August.
They each banked £166,666.66 after their numbers came up in a special Rio Olympics-themed draw.
Not only have they ensured their families are looked after, they have also have contributed to several other charities they are passionate about.
The lucky friends have also splashed out on a few treats for their loved ones, ensuring they will all have a Christmas to remember.
Mr Gibson said: “The work that the Royal Hospital for Sick Children does, supported by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, is truly amazing.
“We’ve been blessed with a real change in our luck this year and we all decided we wanted to do something to support these guys as they fight their conditions.
“After spending time in the hospital today it really hit home how much we need to support charities like this and how much of a difference even the smallest gesture can make.
“We hope the kids enjoy using the DVD players and movies and that they can make a small difference to the time they spend in the hospital.”
The Sick Kids hospital has previously benefited from National Lottery funding to launch their drop-in centre, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and was the first of its kind in Britain.
Sue Diamond, from The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “The portable DVD players are brilliant gifts to give as it means children can do something together with parents and siblings to pass the time between appointments, surgery and treatments.
“Not only are gifts like these a home comfort and fun, but they are also used to distract children who may be having a procedure or about to go for an operation.
“The fact that they are portable is great as it means that they can be used across the hospital in waiting rooms, treatment rooms and when children cannot leave their beds.
“We are all really grateful to the ScottieHibbies for this thoughtful donation which will really make a difference to the children’s hospital experience.”
She added: “They have truly helped to make Christmas magical.”
The syndicated celebrated their success at Easter Road, the home of their heroes, in early September, when they revealed that Mr Gibson learned of the win on the morning of his wife Sheena’s 70th birthday as she checked her emails for messages.