City under-17s put on fitting tribute to Craig

NEXT month will signal the fifth anniversary of the passing of one of Edinburgh's most promising football talents – but the name of Craig Gowans continues to be a positive force on the field of play.

The inaugural South East Region under-17 Craig Gowans Memorial Trophy was contested by two of the best teams to have graced Capital youth football in recent years, with Edinburgh City beating Tynecastle 4-1 at Spartans' Ainslie Park.

The high quality of football was a fitting tribute to the boy whose name adorns the trophy. Gowans died aged 17 in a freak training-ground accident while with Falkirk FC in July 2005.

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Since then, a series of fundraisers have been staged in Craig's name, with thousands of pounds being donated as a result to the The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, which supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Craig's father, John Gowans, who, alongside sons Darren and Dean, welcomed the two sets of players onto the pitch, described the occasion as another step in keeping alive the memory of Craig. He said, "The two teams were exceptional, but the best team won on the day. We would like to thank everybody who turned out in support.

"At the forefront of our minds is that Craig's memory is being kept alive. We'd like to thank everyone who has helped do so – it's humbling at times – their workrate is phenomenal."

City, the Scottish Cup winners, built a two-goal lead by half-time. Gavin Pettigrew's 21st minute cross from the left was flicked on by David McNeil, and Kayne Paterson struck a first-time half-volley from the edge of the box that flew into the top right-hand corner past Tynecastle goalkeeper Steven Hay.

Three minutes later, Nicholas Locke showed good strength to fend off his marker on the right before crossing for Pettigrew, who had time to set himself before striking the airborne ball high past Hay.

Tynecastle pulled a goal back on the hour mark, as City defender Brad McKay failed to clear from a left-wing cross and the ball fell to his opponent Lewis O'Connor, who converted a simple chance from close range. Within five minutes, though, City restored their two-goal cushion, as Kenny O'Brien's long free-kick from the left found the unmarked Ross Yeoman, who planted his header into the left-hand corner of the net.

City's fourth was scored by Locke after a sweeping move.

John Gowans and his wife Sheila presented City with their sixth trophy of the season and concluded the latest in a long line of events to be staged in remembrance of their son.

John and Sheila and their family wished to thank everyone involved in remembering Craig and fundraising in his name, including Maureen Harrison at the Sick Kids', sports journalist Ian Mackay who generously donated the fee for hire of the Ainslie Park pitch, Allan Archibald and Harry Smith of the South East Region Youth Football Association and Les Trotter, of one of Craig's former youth teams, Hutchison Vale.

Among the long list of donors and organisers was some of Craig's friends, Gav, Neil, Murray and Eoghan, who raised over 7000 through a 940-mile sponsored cycle from John O'Groats to Land's End. Craig's parents also expressed their gratitude to Tam Smith and Neil McRae of Hutchison Vale, who ran a sponsored half marathon, and Steve Cobbold, Derek Flockhart and Jillian Carter, who participated in a sponsored 10,000ft skyjump and hope to raise 700.

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John and Sheila are also thankful to staff and pupils at Stewart's Melville school, who recognise Craig's academic and sporting brilliance by presenting four end-of-term prizes in his name.

The series of events to continue fundraising for the Craig Gowans Memorial Fund continues with a five-a-side football tournament at Portobello's Power League on 18 June.

A charity challenge match will then take place at Saughton Enclosure on 8 August between sports journalist Chick Young's charity team, Dukla Pumpherston, and a side comprised of ex-Hutchison Vale players, such as Hibs manager John Hughes and Montrose boss Steven Tweed.

A Sportsman's Brunch organised by Tam Carter will be held on Sunday, 24 October and will feature ex-referee Kenny Clark, Jim Leishman, and impressionist Paul Reid of Dundee United. Ticket enquiries for this event should be made to Tam Carter on 07928 776 711.

Edinburgh City: Lee Millar, Craig Tulloch, Liam Smith, Kayne Paterson, Brad McKay, Michael Travis, David McNeil, Nicholas Locke, Jordan Thomson, Gavin Pettigrew, Tinashe Mukunda, Craig Sinclair, Dale Cornet, Ross Yeoman, Jake Moyes, Kenny O'Brien, Ryan Hutchison.

Tynecastle: Steven Hay, Kieran Watson, Lewis O'Connor, Stuart Duncanson, Bruce Cunningham, Conor Edmonds, Andrew Jones, David Liddle, Rury Fleming, Paul Fergie, Jamie Devlin, Craig Robertson, Matthew Skene, Laurie Preston, Jamie Anderson