Campaign for Shaun Woodburn gets global backing

THE family of Shaun Woodburn have received messages of support from around the world as a campaign in his memory gets global backing.

Thursday, 18th January 2018, 6:00 am
Proud mum Denise Syme has been inundated by well-wishers from overseas

Mum Denise Syme has been inundated by well-wishers from overseas while a Justice For Shaun petition has been signed as far afield as Canada and the US.

A 17-year-old who cannot be named was jailed for four years in November after being found guilty of killing Shaun in a street brawl on New Year’s Day last year.

“We’ve had petition signatures from Ireland, America, England and Canada,” said Denise. “Also private messages from across the globe as well.”

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Shaun Woodburn

Denise said friends and family abroad are among those who have sent their heartfelt condolences.

Top-flight English players Dwight Gayle, of Newcastle United, and Leicester and England’s Harry MaGuire signed the petition.

As did Edinburgh-born Marc McNulty who plays for Coventry City and Wolves’ defender Barry Douglas – joining several Hearts and Hibs players.

“The support we are receiving is fantastic and it just shows you that Shaun’s story is one that could happen anywhere and to anybody,” said Denise.

Shaun Woodburn

“He wasn’t a violent guy he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. People all over the globe also realise that sentences aren’t long enough for juveniles that commit these heartless crimes.”

Nearly 70,000 people signed a petition calling for justice for dad-of-one Shaun amid public outcry at his killer’s sentence.

Football fans from across the city divide have backed the campaign, with a banner unfurled above Dickens Bar in Dalry Road earlier this week.

It was emblazoned with both Hibs and Hearts badged – as well as those of Bonnyrigg Rose and Leith Athletic, both former teams of Shaun’s.

Dickens landlord and Jambo Callum Anderson said: “The travesty of a justice system that protects the guilty and neglects the victims merely serves to prove that the Woodburn family deserve the support of all.”

Callum said he was spurred into action after seeing coverage of the case – and urged others to back the campaign.

“My son plays football for Leith Athletic, Shaun’s old team, and although I didn’t know Shaun or his family, as the tragedy unfolded, it brought home how fragile life can be,” he said.

“I think the punishment could’ve and should’ve been a lot more severe. I just want to show a bit of solidarity with the family – people are behind them and supporting them.

“Every single Hearts fan I’ve spoken to is behind the family. People feel strongly about it. We need to keep the pressure on and the family need a little bit of help with that.”

Denise also confirmed discussions are ongoing to honour Shaun with a fundraising legacy for charity Street Soccer Scotland.

“I am one proud mum. Shaun’s name lives on in the sport he loved, football,” she said.