Marine Craig’s legacy lives on

Photograph Jamie Forbes 25.11.13 STRATHBLANE Edmonstone hall. Craig Hodgkinson Trust presenting defibrillator to village to save lives,  John Hodgkinson presenting defibrillator to Margaret Vass - Chair of Strathblane Community Council. Back row L/R Andrew Orr - Chair of village hall committee, John Barrington - trossachs search and rescue, Steven Ballantyne -trossachs search and rescue, Mark Elder trossachs search and rescue, Stuart Ballantyne - scottish ambulance service.
Photograph Jamie Forbes 25.11.13 STRATHBLANE Edmonstone hall. Craig Hodgkinson Trust presenting defibrillator to village to save lives, John Hodgkinson presenting defibrillator to Margaret Vass - Chair of Strathblane Community Council. Back row L/R Andrew Orr - Chair of village hall committee, John Barrington - trossachs search and rescue, Steven Ballantyne -trossachs search and rescue, Mark Elder trossachs search and rescue, Stuart Ballantyne - scottish ambulance service.

The parents of a Royal Marine who died suddenly while he was playing rugby have donated a defibrillator to the village hall in Strathblane.

Former rugby youth internationalist Craig Hodgkinson (27) suffered from an unknown cardiac defect and collapsed on the pitch in 2006 in Plymouth, where he was based.

Craig, a former Glasgow High School pupil, had been playing for the Royal Navy against a Cornwall development side. He also played for Scotland’s under-18 squad and won three national championships with Glasgow Hawks.

Following his death, Craig’s parents ,Diane and John, who live in Strathblane, set up The Craig Hodgkinson Trust.

The Trust provides defibrillators to sports clubs and communities throughout Scotland, to assist other young sportsmen and women who may suffer a cardiac arrest during sport.

The Trust has handed out 92 defibrillators so far and the latest has been placed outside Edmonstone Hall, on Glasgow Road.

Talking about his son’s death, John said: “We couldn’t believe it. When we went down to see Craig passing through as a Royal Marine – the training that he went through, even when he went out in Iraq – we thought he was ultra-fit.

“We found out that if there had been a defibrillator at the pitch there was a good chance that Craig would have been with us today.”

Mum Diane added: “We just wanted to get equipment to as many places as possible in the hope that lives can be saved.

“We didn’t want another family to have to go through what we have.

“When we found out that it happens to so many people we wanted to do something to help. As we live in Strathblane it seemed appropriate for us to make sure that there was one here.

“Two of our defibrillators have been used successfully - one was used to revive a spectator at Heriot’s Rugby Club in Edinburgh, and another was used by the 1st Responders Unit in Drumnadrochit, on a spectator at a shinty match.”

Strathblane Community Council member Julie Hutchinson said: “We are very grateful to the Trust for supplying this machine - it will be a real lifeline for the village and for anyone who is travelling through, as the ambulance service can direct people to it.

“It’s a known fact that if a person can get to a defibrillator quickly it can save their life.

“So far 24 people have been trained by the ambulance service to use it and it’s very easy to operate and safe - it can’t harm a person as it does not apply an electric shock to the body unless needed.”