A minute’s applause is to take place during tomorrow’s Edinburgh derby in support of the campaign for justice by tragic Shaun Woodburn’s family.
Dad-of-one Shaun, 30, was killed by a single punch from the then 16-year-old schoolboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on New Year’s Day in Leith last year.
The teenage killer was jailed for just four years in November - leading to a widespread public outcry.
The heartfelt tribute is the brainchild of lifelong Hearts fan Neil Reid, 47, who is urging both sets of fans to put their rivalry aside during the 30th minute of Sunday’s Scottish Cup clash at Tynecastle.
Neil said: “We want to get as many Hearts and Hibs fans coming together to stand strong for Shaun and his family. It is a derby, but this is something we come together for.”
The bus driver has contacted both clubs and sets of supporters’ clubs in order to spread the word and he says the reaction so far has been positive.
He said: “The appeal has been very well received.
“We need solidity against this sentence. It could have been anyone that night.
“The justice system has let Shaun and his family down and we need to show our support.”
Shaun’s mum, Denise Syme, has praised the idea with both sides of his family having opposing allegiances when it comes to football.
She told the Evening News: “Anything that makes people aware of our campaign and asking questions about Shaun’s case is good.
“I think it would be great to see two rival teams chanting together for the same cause.
“Shaun was more than a Hibs fan. He loved playing football.
“His grandpa, uncle and cousins on my side of the family are Hearts fans and there was never any animosity between Shaun and them, just friendly banter at derby time.”
Shaun’s killer was part of a drunken gang attacking strangers across the city on Hogmanay.
He was charged with murder but found guilty of culpable homicide during the November trial. Almost 70,000 people signed a petition calling for justice at the teenager’s sentence.
The Dickens in Dalry Road, run by a Jambo, is flying a banner above the lounge bar backing the bid after being contacted by Shaun’s dad, Kevin.
It is emblazoned with both Hibs and Hearts badges - as well as those of Bonnyrigg Rose and Leith Athletic, both former teams of Shaun’s.
He has now printed out handheld versions of the banner and distributed them to fans to hold up during the 30th minute tribute.
Dickens landlord and Hearts fan Callum Anderson said: “I think its an excellent idea that the fans can unite for 60 seconds. We printed out loads and people have sent them over to Gorgie and Leith for Hibs fans to bring with them too.
“There is obviously a big rivalry but it’s great that it will be put to one side for such a travesty.”
Tam Hansborough, of Four In Hand Supporters’ Club, said: “It’s heartwarming to know people are together in supporting the family and putting the bitter rivalry aside.”