Club News

Club's anguish

23rd December 2013

Heart of Midlothian FC pays tribute to former youth player Jamie Skinner who died suddenly at Saughton Park.

Heart of Midlothian Football Club today paid tribute to former youth player Jamie Skinner, who died suddenly yesterday during a match at Saughton Park.

The 13-year-old was playing a trial for Tynecastle FC when he collapsed after coming on as a substitute and Hearts' Academy Director John Murray said the club was in shock at the loss of a player who, until recently, had been playing for the U14s.

"I met Jamie's parents today with our club chaplain Andy Prime and they are utterly distraught and finding it hard to come to terms with what has happened," he said.

"It is devastating for the family, especially so close to Christmas. For the lad to go out to play a game of football and then for his family to get that phone call, I just don't know how you handle something like that.

"He was here at Hearts until recently and was a lovely lad. Everybody here is totally shocked. It is a complete tragedy.

"I was on my way to the park at Saughton to watch a later game when I heard all the matches had been cancelled due to what had happened. It was unbelievable.

"With the news of David Paul from the Hibs youth team passing as well, it is justĀ heartbreaking as you don't expect this at such an age."

Manager Gary Locke echoed John's sentiments, adding: "It's tragic. It puts things into perspective when we think that we're having difficult times.

"For both clubs, ourselves and Hibs, it is tragic. My thoughts, and everyone's at Heart of Midlothian, go out to both players' families because it must be absolutely horrific for them.

"We're all devastated. Not just for Jamie, but for David at Hibs as well. Our deepest sympathies go out to both families and everybody at the football club is hurting."

The club plans to mark Jamie's passing prior to kick-off against Kilmarnock on Boxing Day.

On HeartsTV today, Gary Locke and Callum Tapping meet the media at Riccarton.