Mourners have paid tribute to the football-mad schoolboy who collapsed and died of heart failure while playing the game at school.
Andrew MacKinnon, 15, was playing football when he became unwell on the field at Forrester High School in Edinburgh on April 14 and died of heart failure.
His death left the local community “deeply shocked,” the Rev. Michael Mair said at a service at St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church in the city on Friday.
He said: ‘When the news broke that Andrew had collapsed and died playing football at school with close friends, there was a deep sense of shock, sadness and disbelief that something like this could happen to someone so young.
“We opened the doors of our church that night because we wanted to provide a place for people to gather, light a candle, and reflect on this terrible tragedy, and we were overwhelmed by the grief of his friends and family.”
Andrew MacKinnon, 15, was playing football when he became unwell on the field at school in Edinburgh on April 14 and died of heart failure
Mourners paid tribute to the football mad schoolboy who collapsed and died of heart failure while playing the game at Forrester High School, Edinburgh
His death left the local community feeling “deeply shocked,” Rev Michael Mair said Friday at the city’s St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church.
The community “immediately” rallied around his devastated family by launching an online GoFundMe fundraiser for them, which has raised more than £30,000 so far.
A group of Andrew’s friends also organized a car wash event to raise money for a memorial to him.
Andrew was described by Mr. Mair as a “sweet rascal,” and a teenager who was affectionate and unafraid to show and tell people how he felt about them.
“Towards his friends, he was fiercely loyal and hated injustice,” he added.
“He was always willing to stand behind them and assist them in any challenge.
“When Andrew collapsed, he had just played a game of football with some close friends and it is a testament to their friendship that they refused to leave his side.
Emergency services rushed to the Broomhouse Road area of Edinburgh after the incident at Forrester High School, but paramedics were unable to save Andrew despite extensive efforts
The community ‘immediately’ rallied around his devastated family by launching an online GoFundMe fundraiser for them, raising more than £30,000 so far
A memorial book has been opened to allow people to record their memories of Andrew and send condolences to his family
“To the community at large he was a boy with a cheeky smile, always with a football under his arm or at his feet and always up for mischief but never malice.”
Andrew was a member of Salvesen Community Football Club for 10 years.
He is survived by his sisters Aimee and Rachel, his mother Janine Dow, his father Andrew MacKinnon and his stepfather Gary Weir.
Andrew was a passionate Hearts fan and Mr Mair said there was ‘no song he didn’t know’.
Mr Mair added: ‘He was proud to be a season ticket holder and his family says his only regret would have been not to see them when they won a major championship.
“It is a time of great sadness for all who love him as they try to come to terms with his loss.
“Family, football, friends and his girlfriend were the most important things in Andrew’s life according to his mates.
“He loved to sing and dance, he was precious and irreplaceable.
Our hearts are broken today.
“As we say goodbye to Andrew, we will reflect on all he has meant to us, all he means to God, and all the ways he has impacted our lives.”
Those in attendance included former Hearts player Gary Locke and Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry.
A memorial book has been opened to allow people to record their memories of Andrew and send condolences to his family.
Emergency services rushed to the Broomhouse Road area of Edinburgh after the Forrester High School incident, but despite extensive efforts, paramedics were unable to save Andrew.
The teen was said to have had a history of heart disease.
Shortly after 3 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, March 14, police and ambulances were spotted in the area.
The gifted footballer and huge Hearts fan, who played for Salvesen blues 07s, is survived by sisters Aimee and Rachel, 20 and 17, mother Janine Dow, 48, father, also Andrew MacKinnon, 40, and stepfather Gary Weir, 55.
A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed the death, adding: ‘On Tuesday 14 March, police were called to a report of a 15-year-old boy who had collapsed on Broomhouse Road. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a report is being filed with the Attorney Fiscal.’