THEY came in their hundreds to remember Craig Hepburn.
Older residents, families, toddlers and babies in prams joined together with the hundreds of teenagers who’d grown up with Craig in Linwood.
This was their day to remember the popular former Linwood High pupil who had been taken so tragically from them last weekend.
Craig was killed during a weekend break to West Yorkshire to visit his uncle in the village of Marsden.
A tribute walk with the aim of raising money for Craig’s funeral had been organised through Facebook by Craig’s friends.
The teenagers wanted to do something in their own way to remember the much-loved teenager, who was affectionately nicknamed Heppy.
Soon the idea spread around the town and, on Saturday afternoon, hundreds gathered at the cycle path in Linwood to take part in the walk to Houston.
A self-confessed Bluenose, many of Craig’s friends wore Rangers strips as a tribute.
Many had bought new shirts and had them branded on the back with ‘Heppy’, ‘RIP’ and ‘GBNF’ (Gone But Not Forgotten).
The crowds started gathering at 1.30pm and soon the cycle path was full.
Craig’s parents, Caroline and Alex, both 48, and his younger brother Andrew released balloons into the sky with ‘son’ and ‘brother’ marked on them to a massive round of applause.
Andrew, 16, then bravely played alongside three fellow pipers who’d all attended Paisley Pipe Band with Craig as youngsters and together they led the walk to Houston.
To the tune of Scottish Soldier, the pipers marched in time followed by Caroline and Alex, Craig’s aunt Angela McKeown and his grandad George Deveney.
And behind them followed hundreds of people from across Linwood who wanted to pay their respects to Heppy.
Linwood lad Michael Kerr, 18, was one of the pipers who lead the walk. He said: “I played in the same band as Craig, we actually got our pipes on the same day.
“We wanted to show our support.
“He was a great friend and a great piper.
“He was a good person and didn’t deserve this.”
Scott Macrae, from Paisley, and William Boyle also piped at the march.
Grandad George said the march had been organised by Craig’s friends.
He said: “This has been a comfort to the family – it’s out of this world.
“It’s the young ones who’ve organised this, it’s all been done by Craig’s friends.”
Craig’s dad Alex stood at the side and thanked everyone who was taking part as they walked past.
He said the family had been comforted by the way the community of Linwood had rallied round the family.
He added: “You don’t know what you have until it’s not there.
“Everyone has been saying such nice things about him.
“ He was a typical teenage boy and I’m sure they would have done this for any of the kids.”