Sunderland based Hibs’ fan Hugh Cockburn has been carrying out some last minute training as he prepares for*a very poignant commemorative cycle ride between Easter Road and Hampden a year on from one of Hibs the most significant weekends in history, in memory of* St Patrick’s Branch member Shaun McKinley.Hugh’s cycle run will take place on Monday 22 May; one year on from the day Shaun*watched his*beloved Hibees lift the Scottish Cup.Shaun sadly passed away after a brave fight with cancer on 31 Dec 2016 and it is therefore fitting that Hugh should mark Shaun’s memory with this charitable sponsored cycle, not just Easter Rd to Hampden, but also the return leg back from Hampden to Easter Rd the following day.
In preparation for the cycle ride, he recently visited both The Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland FC and St James’*Park, home of Newcastle United FC, meeting legendary managers Bob Stokoe and Sir Bobby Robson.
Hugh*told the Edinburgh Reporter: ” Three* of my biggest passions, away from family, are Hibs, cycling and my membership of the St.Patrick’s Branch. When I heard Shaun had cancer I was devastated for him and his lovely family.*Since contacting ‘Big G’ (Gordon McKinley, Shaun’s father)*to enquire about joining the Branch, some years ago, I have been met with nothing but kindness, support and wonderful friendship from mainly Gordon but also all people associated with the Branch. I consider many of them as close friends. The Branch epitomises the Hibs theme of ‘Family’.“I attended Shaun’s funeral and the turnout was amazing and I realised then*that I wanted to do something to ‘honour’ him*and the McKinley family. It has been in the back of my mind to attempt to cycle to all*the senior Football grounds in Scotland but the logistics and ‘time away’ from family is a concern. I decided that it is possible to do in stages and my first stage is Easter Road to Hampden and back via, Hearts, Livingston, Airdrie, Clyde, Rangers, Celtic, Partick, Hamilton, Motherwell, and Edinburgh City. I am hoping to do another stage sometime late summer, possibly Fife clubs. All stages will be in memory of Shaun, as the Hibs David Gray banner , “Shaun McKinley, live forever”
Monday 22 May
Depart Easter Road 9am- visiting Livingston FC-Airdrie FC-Partick FC-Clyde FC-Rangers FC-Celtic FC- arrive Hampden
Tuesday 23 May
Depart Hampden-visiting Hamilton FC-Motherwell FC-Hearts FC-arrive Easter Road hopefully mid-afternoon-Train to Newcastle 6:30pm
Three years ago, Hugh took*part in a charity bike ride from London to Edinburgh to raise funds for the St Patrick’s Branch of the Hibs’ Supporters Association which was supported brilliantly by Hibs fans from ever quarter of the Hibernian Family, in their campaign to purchase a fitting memorial to club legend Dan McMichael who had rested in a paupers grave in the Eastern Cemetery .
The cycle is a sponsored event in aid of Sarcoma UK. Sarcoma is* a virulent type of cancer which Shaun succumbed to .
Hugh’s Just Giving page.
Reporter John Hislop
Says it all. The Branch Committee would encourage all members to donate, no matter how little or private to help him reach his target which now sits at 90% and also if possible get down to see Hugh off tomorrow morning at 9.am from Easter Road reception.