Former teammates of a football fanatic who tragically died in a diving accident rallied together to organise a memorial match on his behalf.
Family and friends of ex-St Mungo’s High pupil Ryan McGuckin (39) paid tribute to the dad-of-two at Stenhousemuir’s Ochilview Park on May 12 following his death off the coast of the Isle of Barra last summer.
Hundreds headed along to the St Mungo’s High Class of 1995 v Ryan McGuckin XI fixture as schoolmates of the Celtic-mad Larbert man lined up against a team made up of his relatives and close friends.
Ticket sales and a raffle prize draw helped to raise £1200 in aid of the Barra Island RNLI Lifeboat volunteers, who tried to rescue both Ryan and his friend Iain MacDougall from the sea in Castlebay on July 31.
His popularity meant several of Ryan’s friends and colleagues travelled from all over the country for the match. Ryan was no stranger to long journeys to watch football himself, having travelled around the world to take in games through his role as head of chartering and shipping operations with Champions League sponsor Gazprom.
Lee Callaghan (40), a classmate of Ryan’s who helped organise the day, said: “Family, friends and football were the three things you thought about when you thought of Ryan. We won a cup final at Ochilview at school so there was a real significance. It was emotional but the idea was to make it a positive emotion. Judging by the smiles and laughter, it seemed to work.”
Ryan’s dad Frank added: “It was a good day seeing everyone there for Ryan.”
Donations can be made at www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/RyanJohn.