An online fundraiser has been launched in memory of a “one in a million” Edinburgh teenager who tragically died while on a gap year in Asia.
Andy Towns, from Edinburgh, is believed to have died after being knocked down by a minibus in Laos on Saturday, March 23.
The former Boroughmuir High School pupil is understood to have been on a gap year. The 18-year-old was a promising footballer who played for a number of clubs including North Merchiston and Edinburgh City.
His former coach at North Merchiston Boys Club, Alex Stylianou, has now set up a fundraiser to donate to the devastated family of the popular teenager, raising £3,440 in just a week.
Alex posted on Facebook: “I was heartbroken and absolutely devastated when I found out about his loss. A brilliant lad in all aspects that left way too early. While am coaching football down in England now, I felt like I needed to do my bit having been his coach.
“While nothing can be done to restore a human life I thought why not launch a fundraising campaign in memory of Andy and help as much as I possibly can, his family and loved ones in this difficult time, knowing full well that no money can replace the loss of a loved one!
“I thought we could raise a significant amount of money and donate it to his family as a symbolic gesture, help with the costs and donate any money raised to any charities his family wish to donate the money to in memory of Andy.”
A minute’s silence was held by North Merchiston FC ahead of all games on March 24 to pay their respects.
Alex also announced intentions to organise a memorial football match for Andy involving his family and friends.
He is also trying to get hold of some shirts of professional footballers that can be auctioned off in order to contribute to the total. Staff and pupils at Boroughmuir High School have been made aware of the teenager’s death.
Boroughmuir Seniors tweeted: “Absolutely heartbroken. Andy Towns, one in a million, you’ll never be forgotten. Rest easy brother.”
Scott Niven, secretary of Edinburgh City u19s, said: “Edinburgh City were devastated to hear over the weekend of the death of one of our players, Andy Towns.
“Andy joined up with one of our u19 teams this season and as well as being a fantastic footballer, and our top scorer, he was a much loved friend and teammate. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family and friends at this sad time.”
The Foreign Office have issued a statement saying: “Our staff are offering advice and support to the family of a British man following his death in Laos, and are in contact with the local authorities regarding the incident.”
To donate go to www.facebook.com/donate/344008512764602/1206759112822668