Funeral for teen boy who died after collapsing while playing football

Andrew Mackinnon, 15, passed away shortly after 3pm on March 14 on the pitch at Forrester High School.

Funeral held for Andrew MacKinnon who collapsed and died playing football in Edinburgh Supplied

A schoolboy who died suddenly while playing football was described as fun-loving, fiercely loyal to his friends and deeply loved by his family at his funeral on Friday.

Andrew Mackinnon, 15, passed away shortly after 3pm on March 14 on the pitch at Forrester High School.

The teenager is understood to have had a history of heart disease, and previously underwent cardiomyopathy surgery.

Church of Scotland Reverend Michael Mair paid tribute to Andrew during his funeral service at St David’s Broomhouse Parish Church in Edinburgh on Friday.

He said the teenager’s death had left the close-knit community deeply shocked.

Mr Mair, the parish minister, said people immediately rallied around the devastated family which has been overwhelmed by love, generosity and kindness.

Andrew MacKinnon collapsed while playing football at school. Supplied

Scores of people gathered at the church followed by a service of thanksgiving for Andrew’s life at Warriston Crematorium.

“When the news broke that Andrew had collapsed and died while playing football at school with close friends, there was a deep sense of shock, sadness and disbelief that something like this could happen to someone so young,” Mr Mair said.

“We opened the doors of our church that night because we wanted to provide a place for people to gather, light a candle and reflect on this terrible tragedy and we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of grief from his friends and family.”

Mr Mair described Andrew as a “lovable rogue” who was loving and affectionate and unafraid of showing and telling people how he felt about them.

“To his friends he was fiercely loyal and hated injustice,” he added.

“He was always willing to back them up and stand with them in whatever challenge lay before them.

“When Andrew collapsed, he had just finished playing a game of football with some close friends and it is testament to their friendship that they refused to leave his side.

Andrew MacKinnon is survived by his sisters Aimee and Rachel, parents Janine and Andrew, and stepdad Gary. Janine Dow

“To the community at large, he was a lad with a cheeky smile, always with a football under his arm or by his feet and up to some kind of mischief which was never with malice.”

Andrew, who was a member of Salvesen Community Football Club for ten years, is survived by his sisters Aimee and Rachel, mother, Janine Dow, father Andrew MacKinnon, and stepfather Gary Weir.

Mr Mair said the schoolboy played as a defender and was a passionate Heart of Midlothian Football Club fan and there was not a chant that he did not know and sang with his “heart and soul”.

“Our hearts are broken this day,” he added.

“The family have been overwhelmed by the great show of love and affection that the community of Broomhouse has shown for Andrew.

“His death has left a large hole and people have responded by really making an effort to show just how much he was valued and appreciated.”

Mr Mair said a GoFundMe online fundraising campaign for the family has raised more than £30,000 so far.

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