Andrew MacKinnon: Edinburgh schoolboy described as 'precious and irreplaceable' at funeral in Broomhouse
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Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to Andrew MacKinnon, after his sudden death at the age of 15.
Andrew died suddenly while playing football at Forrester High School on March 14, which caused shock and sadness to ripple through the local community. Reverend Michael Mair paid tribute to the beloved teenager during a funeral service, which was held at St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church in Edinburgh today, Friday, March 31.
He described Andrew as a “precious and irreplaceable” boy who loved football, singing and dancing. He said: “To his friends he was fiercely loyal. He was always willing to back them up and stand with them in whatever challenge lay before them. He hated injustice and was loyal and trustworthy as a mate.” Mr Mair also told the crowds that Andrew’s close friends refused to leave his side when he collapsed on the football pitch, which he said was “testament to their friendship”.
Andrew is survived by his sisters Aimee and Rachel, mother Janine Dow, father Andrew MacKinnon, and stepfather Gary Weir. At the service, Mr Mair said: “Family, football, friends and his girlfriend were the most important things in Andrew’s life, according to his mates. It is a time of great sadness for all those who love him as they try to come to terms with his loss.”
The young teenager was a keen footballer, and had been a member of Salvesen Community Football Club for 10 years. He was also a huge supporter of Hearts of Midlothian football club. Mr Mair told the crowd that Andrew knew all the football chants, and added: “He was proud to be a season ticket holder and his family say that his only regret would have been not seeing them when they won a major championship. To the community at large, he was a lad with a cheeky smile, always with a football under his arm or by his feet and up to some kind of mischief which was never with malice.”
Mr Mair said he was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of grief” from Andrew’s friends and family following his death. Some of the schoolboy’s friends recently held a car wash and raised £1000 for a memorial for Andrew. A close family friend also set up a GoFundMe fundraising page to help support Andrew’s family, which has raised more than £30,000. At the service, Mr Mair recognised these efforts, and said: “The family have been overwhelmed by the great show of love and affection that the community of Broomhouse has shown for Andrew. His death has left a large hole and people have responded by really making an effort to show just how much he was valued and appreciated.”
Following the moving funeral service, people of all ages attended a service of thanksgiving for Andrew’s life at Warriston Crematorium. A book of remembrance has been opened for the community to record their memories of Andrew and send condolences to his family.