Hibs fans asked to clap in 60th minute of Rijeka clash in memory of die-hard Hibee David Gardiner
Hibs fans have been asked to participate in a minute’s applause to honour a supporter who sadly passed away towards the end of last month.
David Gardiner, a former youth football coach, scout, and die-hard Hibee, was diagnosed with MND in 2016 and died on July 25 after a brave battle against the disease.
His family are now keen that he is given a proper send-off by the Easter Road faithful when the side takes on HNK Rijeka on Thursday night in the first leg of the Europa Conference League third qualifying round.
Supporters in attendance on Thursday night are asked to join in with a round of applause in the 60th minute of the match.
West Lothian-based David was heavily involved with Hibernian in the Community but had to stop following the diagnosis.
He also had to give up training Livingston FC’s under-15s as well as running his coaching business Sports for Kidz.
Speaking to the Daily Record in September 2016 following the diagnosis, David told how he started experiencing neck and back pain following a car accident.
He continued: "I was getting physio and then in February I started waking up with bad cramps through my left leg. My ankle would lock.
“I thought it was something to do with the accident but it continued.
"When I was coaching one Wednesday, showing the boys how to do a movement, my ankle went away from me."
After initial scans including an MRI showed nothing untoward, further tests revealed the reason for David’s pain.
He added: “It was a shock. I asked how quick it would take hold and the doctor told me: ‘It’ll be quick’.
“I know that eventually I’m going to be in a wheelchair, eventually I’m not going to be able to go out, and I know that’s how I’m going to die.”
David is survived by wife Tracey and his three children and his wider family.
Motor neurone disease affects around one in 100,000 people and damages parts of the nervous system, leading to muscle wasting that affects the ability to walk, talk, and breathe.
Former footballers Fernando Ricksen and David Hagen both died with MND while ex-Scotland rugby internationalist Doddie Weir, whose My Name'5 Doddie Foundation helped support the Gardiner family, is also battling the disease.