Hearts and Hibs fans to remember Edinburgh dad Euan Smith at Scottish Cup semi-final on Saturday
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Lifelong Hearts fan Euan Smith was just 24 years old when he died on Tuesday after suffering with congenital heart disease since birth. He leaves behind two young daughters - Cleo, six, and Frayha, two.
The former Carrick Knowe Primary and Forrester High School pupil was counting down the days until the historic Scottish Cup semi final which will see Hearts play Hibs at Hampden. But after Euan took a turn for the worse on Tuesday, his dad Harvey and sister Emily will be going to the game in his place.
Euan’s mum Catherine said: “He went into the Marie Curie hospice on Monday just for some respite care and to get his pain under control. He was the picture of health when he went in.”
But after a phone call from Harvey the following day, Catherine knew her son didn’t have much time and she, along with Emily, rushed to be by his side and say a final goodbye.
Now, fans from both teams are now uniting on social media to spread the word about a round of applause for Euan in the 24th minute of the game.
“One of Euan’s last wishes was to go to the Hearts game against Hibs last week, and it was his first time at the football in the last eight months,” said Catherine.
“It was his final wish to go to Hampden on Saturday and it was all arranged. Our neighbours were going to take him and he was so excited. But now my husband and daughter are going to carry out his wish instead.
“It’ll be very emotional with the applause. I don’t usually watch football but I’ll definitely be watching this time. I have family coming round to be with me and I just hope Hearts win for Euan.”
Euan was also surprised on Sunday - just days before his death - with a visit from Hearts forward Liam Boyce, who gave him a signed shirt as well as signed goalkeeper gloves which belonged to Euan’s footballing hero Craig Gordon.
“He has been a Hearts fan all his life and Craig Gordon was his idol,” said Catherine, who thanked Marie Curie for arranging the surprise. “He was amazed when Liam Boyce came to visit and was thrilled with the gifts. Liam came again today to leave flowers for us, which was really lovely of him.”
Euan’s funeral will take place on April 28 - just two days before his 25th birthday - and Catherine said all friends and family are welcome.
The 24-year-old, who also loved fishing, planned his own funeral after taking the decision at the end of last year to stop treatment.
“He’d had enough and he knew what was coming,” said Catherine. “But he didn’t want to go. He told Cleo himself and she knows he’s in heaven now but how do you explain it to a six-year-old?
“He was just so brave and making that decision, while knowing what was coming, was definitely brave of him. He knew he’d been through enough.
“But he was such a great son and a great dad and he’ll be sadly missed everyday by all his family and friends.”
She added: “We’d like to thank all the NHS staff and Marie Curie staff who have just been amazing. They’ve been here daily to look after Euan and we can't thank them enough.”
Euan’s funeral will take place at Warriston Crematorium at 3pm on April 28. As per Euan’s request, those attending are asked to wear football strips - of any team - and it will be family flowers only, with any donations to go to Marie Curie.