Remembering Russell: Balloon tribute to murder victim

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A whole community gathered together to celebrate the life of murder victim Russell ‘Smeegs’ Robertson two days after he was laid to rest.

Russell’s mother Margaret Girvan, his older brother Steven Robertson and his nephew Preston Robertson were among the people in the Coo Park in Langlees for a memorial balloon release on Monday evening.

Family and friends release balloons to remember Russell Robertson

Family and friends release balloons to remember Russell Robertson

One balloon had the simple, heartfelt message ‘Shine Bright Uncle Smeegs’.

Margaret said: “It was organised by a friend of Russell’s, Louise, who knew him when he was a wee boy and we thought it was a good idea. We had no idea when Russell’s funeral was when she organised it.

“It just happened his funeral was on the Saturday and the balloon release was on the Monday.”

While Russell’s funeral at Falkirk Crematorium was a sombre affair, the balloon release was a happy event which gave people a chance to remember him in their own way.

Margaret said: “People who weren’t able to go to his funeral were there. A lot of Russell’s friends are now parents and took their kids along. It was just a way for them to say goodbye to Russell.”

Twenty-seven-year-old Russell’s body was found in the early hours of Sunday, May 29, at Bainsford Bridge, which runs over the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Two men, Mark Munro (30), of Denny, and James Robertson (26), of Westquarter, accused of murdering him were released on bail earlier this month having made no plea or declaration to the charge at Falkirk Sheriff Court.

Hours before his death Russell posted a selfie on Facebook with the message “All set and ready for the night”.

Tragically on Sunday his mother posted a message on the site asking “Has anyone seen Russell?”.

The day after the grim discovery, his brother Steven also posted “My mum shouldn’t have to bury her baby boy”.

In the days following the tragedy devastated friends and family clubbed together to raise money to help pay for Russell’s funeral. A Go Fund Me page set up by Tanya MacLachlan raised over £5000 in one day.

Margaret said: “We’ve just been so touched by the support. I don’t know how I would have coped without everyone’s help.”