Funeral held for footballer Shaun Woodburn

The funeral cortege for Shaun Woodburn arrives at Warriston crematorium, Edinburgh. 
Picture: Ian Rutherford

The funeral cortege for Shaun Woodburn arrives at Warriston crematorium, Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of former Bonnyrigg Rose footballer and “true gentleman” Shaun Woodburn.

It was standing room only at Warriston Crematorium as mourners queued to enter the venue and pay their respects following the 30-year-old’s death on New Year’s Day.

As silence fell across the crematorium, mourners listened to Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again and a live recording of Caledonia by Hogmanay headliner singer Paolo Nutini as the service got under way.

They heard that Shaun had been a “true gentleman” and a “loving family man”, and listened to stories from his childhood all the way through to him becoming a father.

The eldest of five children, Shaun was described as a “patient and doting brother” who was always looking out for his younger siblings.

Mourners were told how his passion for sport started from a young age and that, as a child, Shaun would spend hours out on his bike or dribbling a football.

This was followed with stories from Shaun’s adulthood, including his love of cars and the time he spent working alongside his father at the family taxi business.

Further mention was made of Shaun’s footballing career, which among others saw him play for Bonnyrigg Rose. His fellow team members referred to him as a “gentle giant”.

Prior to joining the club, Shaun was also capped for Scotland’s under 19s side in 2005, an accolade of which he was “very proud”.

Before his death Shaun was sponsoring an aspiring boxer, as well as mentoring another who wanted to follow in his footsteps and take to the football pitch.

The service also heard from Shaun’s partner Nicole, who described him as a loving father and “the best partner any girl could wish for”.

In a statement read out on her behalf, she said: “I can’t say just how proud I am of Shaun’s life and all his achievements.

“I don’t think I’d be the person I am today without Shaun – I have a lot to thank him for.

“Shaun was my comfort – he was the best partner any girl could wish for.

“He was thoughtful, loyal, caring – he was so patient and understanding and most of all he was honest and wore his heart on his sleeve at all times. He was a true gentleman.

“I’ll miss his dry sense of humour and the hint of sarcasm in his voice.

“He was a man of few words but I always knew by the look he gave me what he thought.

“He was a real family man and all the hard work and effort he put in was to build the best future for himself and the whole family.

“I can’t put into words how much I will miss him – it feels like someone dug a hole in my heart.”

There were emotional scenes as the funeral drew to a close, with friends and relatives played out of the venue to the tune of The Proclaimers hit Sunshine On Leith.

Those in attendance were encouraged to make a donation to the charity Street Soccer Scotland before the funeral party moved on to continue remembering Shaun’s life at Heriot’s Rugby Club.

It comes as tributes flooded in from across the Capital in the run-up to the funeral.

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in court earlier this month charged with his murder.

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk