Real lives: Gentle giant Craig earned many fans

Craig Devine was kit-man for Bonnyrigg Rose FC. Picture: contributed
Craig Devine was kit-man for Bonnyrigg Rose FC. Picture: contributed
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Tributes have been paid to a football-loving “gentle giant” who died of a heart attack while helping out his beloved Bonnyrigg Rose FC last week.

Craig Devine, 46, had suffered health problems for several years, but remained devoted to the club and acted as kit-man for the team.

Mr Devine, who was born in Musselburgh in 1967 but moved to Bonnyrigg with his parents as a child, lived with his mother in the town.

Robert Dickson, secretary of Bonnyrigg Rose FC, said: “Craig first got involved with the club 17 years ago. His first love was table tennis, but he was a huge football fan.

“When he was younger he worked for British Airways and then a parcel delivery firm. Despite his ill-health in recent years he was dedicated to the club.”

Mr Dickson said Mr Devine, who was unmarried, had two brothers and a sister. “He was a very quiet, gentle man. He loved taking his dog for a walk. Everyone in Bonnyrigg was familiar with the site of Craig out walking with his dog.”

Mr Devine was carrying refreshment to the pitch when he collapsed in the changing room at half-time during the Bonnyrigg club’s game with Linlithgow.

Friends and club members attempted to resuscitate him, but he was later pronounced dead as St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Mr Dickson said: “It’s just tragic. Craig was a power of strength at Bonnyrigg Rose. He was a staunch fan who lived for the club. He was a gentle giant and will be greatly missed.”

On a Facebook page, “Craig Devine the Gentle Man”, set up in his memory, relatives posted: “As our family tries to make sense of Craig not being around we are grateful for all the kind and very true words said about our Gentle Man Craig. Thank you to those who were at the game and tried to help and got him to hospital. Thank god he was not alone. To know him was to love him – his heart was simply too big. We wish we could have had him for longer.”

A statement from the club declared: “On behalf of the committee and friends of Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic FC, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Craig Devine, who sadly passed away at our fixture at Linlithgow Rose FC. As a committee man and person, he will be sorely missed, both inside the club and the wider community as a whole.”

Mr Devine’s funeral took place at Cockpen and Carrington Parish Church last Friday.