THIEVES ransacked the home of an eight-year-old Hibs mascot as he led his team out against Celtic, making off with his Christmas presents and leaving his family devastated.
Hibs-mad Ryan Borthwick, from Edinburgh, was delighted to walk out with the team before their 1-0 win on December 29 as part of a Christmas present.
He even had another reason to celebrate, as he had recently got out of hospital suffering from haemophilia.
But as soon as the family returned home from Easter Road his joy turned to despair, as it turned out thieves had made off with presents belonging to him and his six-year-old sister Caitlin.
The family lost PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles, an iPod, two televisions and a laptop in the raid at their home in Loganlea Loan, which police are now investigating.
Ryan’s mum Liza, 30, had bought him the £150 mascot package as part of a Christmas present.
She said: “In an instant it went from the best day of his wee life to the worst.
“He had been so looking forward to the day and meeting the players and he was beaming from ear to ear leaving Easter Road.
“That soon changed when we got home at around 6.45pm.
“I hope that we weren’t targeted by someone who knew that we would be at the match. Ryan is devastated by it.”
The thieves entered the ground floor flat by breaking through a bathroom window then snubbing the front door so they wouldn’t be disturbed.
Liza continued: “As soon as I felt the door had been snubbed I knew something was up because my mother’s house was robbed when we were young and I never forgot that robbers did the same thing then.
“I ended up having to kick the door in. The kids were hysterical and refused to sleep in the house for the first few nights afterwards.
“The whole thing hasn’t just ruined our Christmas, but out New Year too.”
Craigentinny Primary pupil Ryan was born with haemophilia, a blood disorder which means he has to spend one day a month in hospital to be treated for pains and bleeding which can be caused by even small knocks.
He feared he would miss the chance to lead the team out after he suffered a bleed in his foot before the big game.
Liza continued: “He really does suffer quite badly with his haemophilia, that’s why I was so glad to have arranged it for him.
“His face was priceless, meeting all the players. It’s so sad that memory has been ruined forever.”
As a gesture of goodwill to their die-hard fan, Hibs have arranged for a signed jersey to be given to him by one of the players.
A club spokesman said: “Everybody at the club was saddened to learn what happened to Ryan and his family.
“So we’ve invited him back to Easter Road for our next home match against Dundee on January 19 in order to receive a shirt signed by the whole squad which will be presented to Ryan by one of the players.
“Hopefully that will bring him a little New Year cheers after what has been a very difficult time for him and his family.”
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “We are appealing for information following a housebreaking at a property in Loganlea Loan some time between midday and 6.30pm on Saturday, December 29.
“Inquiries are ongoing, and we are urging anyone with any information to contact us on 0131 311 3131.”