Two sacked following investigation into Jamie Skinner’s tragic death

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THE GRIEVING father of tragic footballer Jamie Skinner said yesterday the sacking of two council workers proved there had been “failings” in the system.

Jamie, 13, collapsed and died – of a suspected heart condition – during a football match in Edinburgh on December 22.

His father, George, revealed yesterday he is now determined to get his hands on the full investigation report – which officials have said will not be made public.

Jamie was a talented footballer who had recently been asked to trial for Tynecastle FC under-14s
Jamie was a talented footballer who had recently been asked to trial for Tynecastle FC under-14s

Two workers were sacked after the six-week-long enquiry is understood to have established that they failed directly to help Jamie and did not even tell members of the public a defibrillator was nearby.

The tragedy happened at Saughton sports ground, which is run by Edinburgh Council but operated by their arms-length company Edinburgh Leisure.

Mr Skinner, 54, who is currently in Nigeria, said yesterday: “Edinburgh Leisure has completed an investigation and made a decision so there must have been failings in their system.”

He added: “I am trying to get a copy of the investigation report.

“Until then I can’t really make any comment at this time.”

But  a spokeswoman for Edinburgh Leisure declined even to confirm that employees had been sacked.

Hundreds turned out at the youngsters funeral to bid him farewell
Hundreds turned out at the youngsters funeral to bid him farewell

Referring to the report, she said: “It is unlikely it will be made public due to data protection and employment law. Mr Skinner would need to contact Edinburgh Leisure directly.”

It is understood the two staff involved concentrated on opening a gate to the park and alerting emergency services.

Parents, players and members of the public tried to revive the youngster, unaware a defibrillator was installed.

A witness, who wished not to be named, said: “I’m terribly sorry for anyone to lose their jobs, especially in these difficult times, but equally I’m sure Edinburgh Leisure looked at what happened before taking this action.

“We’ll never know whether a defibrillator would have saved Jamie. It’s like that it wouldn’t have but he deserved the chance.”

Jamie's parents Queen and George are currently in Nigeria
Jamie’s parents Queen and George are currently in Nigeria

They added: “Coaches and mums and dads were running about, helping Jamie and doing different things, and two people who had access to equipment and training to use it failed to do so.”

It is understood that the two staff have appealed the decision.

Jamie was playing his debut game for Tynecastle FC under-14s against Spartan FC in December when he collapsed during the second half.

His brother-in-law, Steven McCraw was at the game and saw the youngster fall.

Speaking at the time he said: “I thought he was joking around at first so I yelled at him to get up.

“I ran over to him and he had curled up into a ball and started screaming. He screamed for about 20 seconds and then just nothing.”

Edinburgh Leisure director of operations, Graeme Gardiner said they had taken “necessary action to ensure that future responses benefit from lessons learned from this incident.”

He said: “Safety and care continues to be of paramount importance a Edinburgh Leisure and our procedures and training reflect this.

“We remain unable to comment on the specific action taken against individuals at this time.”

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