Hearts and Celtic players will ‘unite’ to honor a Scots schoolboy who died suddenly.
We told how Devin Gordon from Bathgate, West Lothian, passed away on January 19 aged just 13.
In a ‘touch of class’, Hearts and Celtic squads will don a special shirt to commemorate the talented young player.
Devin’s mum, Jen, is a ‘much-loved member of staff at Hearts’ whose chiefs stressed the club will ‘continue to be there for’ Jen and her grieving family ‘at their time of need’.
The clubs play at Tynecastle Park on Wednesday evening but before kickoff players will warm up wearing FC United strips.
FC United represent United to Prevent Suicide; a Scottish social movement that aims to prevent suicide.
A statement from Hearts FC confirmed the thoughtful gesture on Tuesday.
It read: “Heart of Midlothian and Celtic FC will unite in memory of Devin Gordon tomorrow night Red heart
“The teams will warm up in FC United kits, encouraging fans of all clubs to talk, listen and help save lives.”
Emblazoned with the word ‘talk’ the white, mint and lilac strips will be sported by each player limbering up on the pitch.
The decision was welcomed by fans who praised the clubs for their ‘touch of class’ and ‘priceless human kindness’.
One wrote: “A touch of class from both clubs.
“If one person gets this message and makes that call it will show that supporting this message is worthwhile and so important.”
A second posted: “If this joint show of support helps one kid, anywhere, stop and ask for help it’s absolutely been worth it. Just one. Thoughts with the family.
“Nice one from Hearts FC, Celtic FC. Great work from FC United.”
Another added: “This is what humanity looks like.
“Games are there to be won, three points the prize, but the basic yolk of human kindness is priceless.
“Well donated to both clubs. RIP Devlin. Condolences to Devlin’s family.”
Devin’s tragic passing sparked an outpouring of grief in the local community.
His heartbroken family released a statement through the British Transport Police.
It read: “Our lives have changed forever and will never be the same without our precious boy. We will miss him everyday for the rest of our lives.
“Devin will live in our hearts forever.”
Friends and classmates at Bathgate Academy held a vigil and released balloons at Balbardie Park of Peace to remember him.
All matches taking place in the West Lothian Youth Association of Football Clubs leagues held a minute’s silence prior to kick-off last week, as did fixtures in the senior game across the county including Bathgate Thistle’s match against Armadale Thistle at Creamery Park.
There was a minute’s applause in the 13th minute in all of the weekend’s Scottish Cup ties including at Auchinleck Talbot, who were playing Hearts – the team Devin supported.
A GoFundMe launched in the wake of his death has raised over £24,000 to help support his loved ones.
Organizer Nicola Boyd thanked all those who donated in a statement on January 22.
It read: “I cannot believe the kindness of everyone and how this handsome young lad has touched the hearts of many all around the world.
“I’v had messages to the fund me page from families in USA.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
“It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
“Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
“Be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.
“Sit your children down and tell them it’s okay not to be ok and speak out of any worries that’s troubling them.”
You can contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day seven days a week by calling 116 123 or by visiting their website.
Head to United to Prevent Suicide’s website and twitter-page for more information.
Visit the official GoFundMe page to donate.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.