Teenagers charged over death of junior footballer

Flowers have been left outside Bonnyrigg Rose Football Club in tribute to Shaun. Picture: Julie Bull
Flowers have been left outside Bonnyrigg Rose Football Club in tribute to Shaun. Picture: Julie Bull

A TEENAGE boy has been charged with murder following the tragic death of a footballer who was attacked in Leith in the early hours of 2017.

Tributes have poured in from across the Capital after 30-year-old Shaun Woodburn passed away on New Year’s Day.

Shaun, left, with his friend Sonny. Picture: contributed

Shaun, left, with his friend Sonny. Picture: contributed

Police were called to Great Junction Street at 2am on January 1 after what they described as a “disturbance”.

The former Bonnyrigg Rose player had been out with friends celebrating Hogmanay at Gladstones Bar prior to the incident. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition but died from his injuries.

Two teenage boys, both from Edinburgh, appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday in relation to the incident.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, was charged with murder. He also faced a second charge under the Criminal Justice Licensing (Scotland) Act. He made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.

Another teenager, 18-year-old Mohammed Zakariyah, appeared at the petition hearing to face a charge of assault to injury. He was also charged under the Criminal Justice Licensing (Scotland) Act. Zakariyah made no plea or declaration and was released on bail.

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to pay tribute following news of Mr Woodburn’s death. Family friend Sonny Swanson, 18, was among those who was out celebrating with him on New Year’s Eve and said the dad-of-two would “never be forgotten”.

He said: “I can’t believe that we have lost probably one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Shaun was a true gentleman, loved life and would never hurt a fly.

“Everyone loved Shaun, personally I loved the guy to bits, had so many amazing memories with him and could look up to him like a brother.

“Shaun had been staying with my family for a couple of days and was honestly such an amazing person to have about the house, always happy and cheering everyone up.”

His uncle Peter Swanson, 56, runs Gladstone’s and said he’d known Mr Woodburn for years.

He said: “He was a lovely laddie.

“He’s a one-in-a-million guy. He had everything going for him, it’s just a tragedy.

“The anger on the street is just unbelievable as well as the sympathy and grief. You could put a thousand people in a room and he’d be the last person to cause bother. He’s just that type of guy – not a bad bone in his body. Everyone is gutted, it’s just hard to believe.”

He added that flowers had already been left outside the pub in addition to dozens of messages of support.

Flowers were also laid at the gates of the Bonnyrigg Rose ground.

Mr Woodburn signed with Bonnyrigg Rose in 2012 and the club described him as a “true gentleman”.

They said in a statement: “He didn’t have a bad word to say about anyone and nobody had a bad word to say about him, which makes this all the harder to understand.

“Still only 30, he had his whole young life ahead of him to look forward to. Am sure like many of our supporters who have heard the news over the past 24 hours and who knew Shaun, we are truly heartbroken.”