A PROMISING 13-year-old footballer, who had played for a Heart of Midlothian youth team, has died after collapsing on the pitch during a match.
Jamie Skinner was playing for Edinburgh-based Tynecastle FC’s under-14 team yesterday morning when he collapsed during the game against Spartans FC.
Parents and officials who were watching the game at Saughton in Edinburgh tried to resuscitate the teenager after he dropped to the ground, before paramedics arrived.
Police and ambulance crews were called to the pitch just before midday but the youngster died shortly after he was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The cause of death was not known last night, and police said a post-mortem examination would be held.
Jamie had previously played for Hearts FC at age-group level and had moved to Tynecastle FC recently.
His new club issued a statement that said everyone there was in “total shock” at the youngster’s death.
The statement read: “In an innocuous event during the game, Jamie collapsed and, despite the valiant attempts of everyone at the game, and the ambulance service, attempts to revive him were sadly in vain.
“Although Jamie was new to our Tynecastle family, he had up until recently been playing for Hearts.
“He was a prospect that undoubtedly would have had a bright future in the game.
The Tynecastle FC statement went on: “No words can fully express our grief and dismay at seeing this happen.
“We can only pass on all our thoughts and prayers to friends and family and hope they will get some strength from the outpouring of love and support from everyone.
“Everyone at Tynecastle is in total shock at what has happened, and we are sure the youth football community will join with us in also thinking of all the players, coaches and supporters at the game who witnessed this sad event, and the club also thanks everyone who tried to assist.”
The club also posted a massage on Twitter saying: “No words can express the grief and dismay we feel following the sudden death of Under 14s player Jamie Skinner, we thank all your support.”
A number of Scottish footballers were among those to pay tribute to the young athlete on social media sites.
Stoke City and Scotland internationalist Charlie Adam wrote: “Thoughts go out to the family of Jamie Skinner who sadly died playing football today. RIP.”
Former Hibernian player Fraser Ogilvie wrote: “Horrible to hear that a boy goes out to play footy n doesn’t come home thoughts go out to everyone involved at Tynecastle and the family of the wee lad can’t imagine how hard this morning was.”
St Mirren defender Danny Grainger, a former Hearts player, tweeted: “Seen the news about the young lad who played for tynecastle u14s. Terrible news and my thoughts go out to his family at this terrible time.”
Jamie’s previous club also paid tribute to him. A spokesman for Hearts FC said: “Jamie was a popular boy and a bubbly character and everyone at the football club was deeply shocked by the tragic events. Our thoughts and condolences go to his family at this extremely sad time.”
A Heart of Midlothian fan site tweeted: “Devastated to hear that Tynecastle Under 14’s player Jamie Skinner tragically passed away on the pitch this morning doing what he loved.
“You should never go to a football game and not return home. Completely puts things into perspective. Just a young boy doing what he loves, so tragic.”
The Heart of Midlothian Youth Development Committee also expressed its sadness at Jamie’s death. In a statement, it said: “It is with deep sadness that we note the tragic news of Jamie’s untimely death while playing football for Tynecastle FC U14s this morning.
“Jamie was a talented and athletic young footballer who was a member of Hearts U14 squad for the first half of this season.
“Our thoughts are with Jamie’s family and friends at this sad time.”