A DEDICATED family man was knocked down and killed following a Christmas night out – after his wife said she would miss her festive bash to allow him to go out instead.
Accomplished squash player Gavin Fulton, 43, died after being hit about 1.20am on Saturday as he walked along the pavement of Dundas Street after a night out.
Mr Fulton, who had won his league at the Grange Squash Club earlier that evening, told fellow players he had been lucky to earn the night out.
In a twist of fate, his wife Jill had stayed home to look after their two children, Mia, 12, and Faye, ten – rather than attending her own Christmas function.
One pal said: “The two of them had work nights out on the same night. It’s just fate that it was him.”
The Bellevue father-of-two, who worked as an electronics engineer with firm Selex Galileo, had been at a work party with friends from former employer Hewlett Packard in Edinburgh’s west end shortly before the tragedy occurred.
He was struck near the intersection of Heriot Row and Abercromby Place.
Mr Fulton had joined Grange Squash Club in September 2010, having previously spent several years playing for rival team Agilent.
Club secretary and close friend Christy Looby described the loss of Mr Fulton as “tragic”.
He said: “He was just one of the all-round good guys. He was a really welcome guy at the club. Not only was he a very good player, but he was a great personality as well.
“Everyone was delighted to have him on board because they knew he’d be extremely helpful.
“He was always pulling a funny face or he was smiling. I’d never seen him do anything else. Every photo you’ve seen of the guy is just true to his personality.”
Mr Looby added: “Gavin was fast, accurate and talented with a steely determination, but also liked to enjoy himself on court.” Mr Fulton had introduced both his daughters to the sport through Grange, with Faye showing great promise as a player.
His wife said in a statement the family was devastated by the loss.
She said: “Gavin and I taught our children to be road wise and stay on the pavements where they are safe. Mia, Faye and I along with Gavin’s family are devastated that he was not safe on the pavement.
“We have lost the most amazing husband, father, son and brother.”
Family sources described Mr Fulton as a man who drank very little, and loved sport and the outdoors.
Father Bill Fulton added: “Gavin lived for his family, he was much loved and we will all miss him very much.”
Mr Fulton had been due to take his two daughters to compete in the Inverleith Swimming Club championships on the morning he was killed.
Members of the club, where Mr Fulton worked as treasurer and timekeeper, were alerted to his death at 9am on Saturday.
Inverleith Amateur Swimming Club president Norma Wood said organisers had chosen not to cancel the championships, instead dedicating them to Mr Fulton’s memory.
She said: “Gavin was a very friendly, happy guy who would do anything for you. He was very involved with his family. We were totally, totally shocked.”
The incident happened as figures were coming in for the first week of the ACPOS Festive Drink Drug Drive campaign during which officers from across Scotland will be targeting those who drive after taking excess alcohol or drugs.
In the first week of the campaign a total of 115 people were detected driving over the legal alcohol limit. In addition a further seven offenders were detected for driving under the influence of drugs and two were deemed to be unfit to drive due to the effects of alcohol. Deputy Chief Constable Tom Ewing, who leads on road policing matters for ACPOS, said: “We have seen the tragic death of a pedestrian which appears to be linked to drink driving
“Already during this campaign more than 120 people have ignored the warnings and driven a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is not acceptable and as a society we must work together to end the scourge of drink and drug driving. I would once again urge people who suspect anyone of driving while under the influence to contact the police via their local office, by dialling 999.
FRIENDS LEAVE RACQUET TRIBUTE
Members of the club where Gavin Fulton was known as a championship-winning player made a moving tribute to their former teammate yesterday – a painted emblem of a squash racquet.
The whitewashed “ghost” racquet was hung from a lamppost just metres from where Mr Fulton, 43, was killed.
Described as a “great clubman”, Grange Squash Club representatives hung purple carnations at the site.
Mr Fulton died in the Royal Infirmary from injuries sustained after being hit by a car as he walked home from a night out in the West End.
Club secretary Christy Looby said he did not want people to think the tribute was marking the site of someone killed in a fight.
He said: “It could have been just a brawl as far as people were concerned, so I was determined to mark it.
“That’s why we put a little tribute up in the lamppost as well, saying what a great guy Gavin was.”
Friends and neighbours are also planning to plant a tree in memory of Mr Fulton in Inverleith Park – the location where he walked his two dogs for years.