Plans to honour Shaun Woodburn with lasting charity legacy

Former Bonnyrigg Rose player Shaun Woodburn. Picture: contributed
Former Bonnyrigg Rose player Shaun Woodburn. Picture: contributed

THE family of tragic footballer Shaun Woodburn hope to honour him with a lasting fundraising legacy.

Relatives of the former Bonnyrigg Rose defender, who was killed on New Year’s Day, have selected Street Soccer Scotland as a fitting charity.

They raised more than £8,000 from mourners at Shaun’s funeral and a series of charity matches, with further events planned for next year.

“I chose Street Soccer Scotland because of Shaun’s love of football,” said mum Denise Syme.

“We’ll hopefully be repeating our Hibs Legends against Leith Athletic and do a few sponsor walks next year.”

Shaun died after being punched by a then 16-year-old schoolboy outside Gladstones Bar in Leith in the early hours of January 1.

The now 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was tried for his murder but found guilty of culpable homicide last month.

The youth was locked up for four years earlier this month, sparking public outrage at the leniency of the sentence.

A petition for an appeal set up by Shaun’s dad, Kevin, has been signed by more than 65,000 and attracted support from across the political spectrum.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also written to the Woodburn family offering her “sincere condolences” for their loss.

Ms Sturgeon said the Crown Office has offered the family a meeting to answer their questions this week.

The First Minister continued: “I hope this meeting will prove useful to you. While I can entirely understand your wish for me to intervene personally, I know you will appreciate that Scottish Government ministers are not able to intervene in any criminal case.”

“I understand that this continues to be a heart-wrenching time for you and I want you to know that my thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.”

A host of Hibs players past and present including Anthony Stokes, Kevin Thomson and Mickey Weir took on Shaun’s former team Leith Athletic for charity back in May.

The Street Soccer charity works with disadvantaged children, the homeless, addicts and other vulnerable adults to “inspire and motivate” through football.

Street Soccer’s Edinburgh programmer manager, Robbie Wood, pledged money raised would boost the charity’s work in Shaun’s home city.

The charity held a Shaun Woodburn Cup for 100 children, aged 10 to 16, at Spartans FC earlier this month with some of the proceeds of last year’s events in Shaun’s honour.

“We’re grateful and honoured to be the recipient of generous funds to put towards our work for free community football for socially disadvantaged children and adults,” said Mr Wood.

“We’ll look to honour Shaun by making positive change through football.”