A FATHER-of-two died in a road accident following a Christmas night out – after his wife volunteered to miss her own festive bash.
Squash ace Gavin Fulton died after being knocked down in Edinburgh in the early hours of Saturday morning as he walked home from a party with former colleagues.
The 43-year-old electronics engineer had told players at his squash club just hours before that he was “lucky” to get the night out.
His wife, Jill, 41, was also due to go out that night but agreed to stay at home.
A friend, who asked not to be named, said: “The two of them had work nights out on the same night. It’s just fate that it was him.”
Friends said Gavin, from the Bellevue area of the city, was in good spirits on the the “fateful night” he was knocked down.
Just hours before, the 43-year-old electronics engineer had finished in the top group of players in his club’s league.
And last month, he clinched victory in a tournament involving some of Scotland’s best players.
His friends in the squash community have paid an unusual tribute to him in the form of a “ghost racquet” placed on a lamp post above the spot where he died.
Purple carnations have been placed through the handle and posters on the lamp post declare: “Your like will no be seen again!”.
Christy Lobby, Tournament Secretary at Grange Squash Club, said: “I just thought it would be a fitting thing to put up a white ‘ghost’ racquet to say here was a squash player.”
He added: “Gavin was a fantastic clubman who would always oblige by playing a difficult away games.
“Everybody had a good word for him at the club.
“I am proud to say Gavin was a mate of mine, not just a clubmate or a teammate.”
Mr Lobby said: “He had his usual humorous chat with his opponent and other team members before setting off on his fateful night out meeting up with work colleagues in the West End of Edinburgh.”
Gavin was trying to encourage his daughters Mia, 12, and Faye, 10, to take up the sport.
Jill paid a moving tribute to her husband yesterday, saying: “Mia, Faye and I along with Gavin’s family are devastated that he was not safe on the pavement.
“We have lost the most amazing husband, father, son and brother.”
A man has been charged with causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs in relation to the 1.20am incident in Dundas Street.
Keith McCardle, 50, from Musselburgh, made no plea or declaration and was released on bail following an appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.