‘I miss my dad so much’

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Shirley Bar­tynek

Scot­tish foot­ball was stunned in De­cem­ber 29, 2007, when the ’ Well cap­tain col­lapsed in a game against Dundee United at the age of 35 years.

His team were 5-3 up at the time and there were just 12 min­utes re­main­ing in the game, with O’Donnell about to be sub­sti­tuted, when he col­lapsed.

Fans and team-mates then watched in stunned si­lence as medics and club doc­tors bat­tled to save his life.

He passed away just a few hours later in Wishaw Gen­eral Hospi­tal, dy­ing of heart fail­ure.

Al­though Me­gan was just 12 years old at the time, she re­mem­bers that aw­ful day.

She ex­plained:“It was quite strange that my­self and my broth­ers and sis­ter were all there at the foot­ball game that day.

“My mum usu­ally tried to take at least one of us to a game to see dad, but it was very rare that all four of us would be there.

“I guess be­cause I was the el­dest of the four, I knew some­thing was re­ally wrong when he col­lapsed.

“We were quickly taken away out the sta­dium to stay with a friend, but I be­gan to think some­thing must be re­ally wrong.

“It was just a horrible mo­ment when I found out that my dad had passed away.

“I miss my dad so much, as I re­ally was a bit of daddy’s girl.”

Me­gan re­mem­bers her house be­ing filled with peo­ple and flow­ers straight after the news broke about her dad’s sud­den death on the pitch.

Cards were sent to the fam­ily from all over the world.

She said:“We had blan­kets knit­ted for all four of us from a lady in Amer­ica.

“Our house was al­ways so busy and I re­mem­ber mum say­ing we got a hand-writ­ten let­ter from the Prime Min­is­ter at the time, Gor­don Brown, and an­other let­ter from Alex Sal­mond.

“It was an amaz­ing show of sup­port and some­thing that our fam­ily will never for­get and will al­ways be grate­ful for.

“My mum has been in­cred­i­ble through all of this and so sup­port­ive with all of my sib­lings. We love her so much.”

Phil is sur­vived by his wife Eileen (44) daugh­ters Me­gan (21), Olivia (16) and sons Christo­pher (19) and Luc (13).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.