A SERIES of tributes are planned for tragic Marsden murder victim Craig Hepburn.
And they are taking place both north and south of the Scottish border, in memory of the popular teenager from Paisley, near Glasgow.
Bagpipe player Craig – known as Heppy to his friends – was stabbed to death in the early hours of Saturday close to Marsden village centre.
The 19-year-old had earlier entertained locals in a village bar by playing his pipes.
Craig and his 18-year-old friend, Connor Paton, were visiting relatives in Marsden from Scotland.
Later today, more than 600 relatives and friends of the teenager are expected to take to the streets of his home town of Linwood to set off Chinese lanterns in his memory. They hope to fill the skies with the glowing lanterns.
And on Saturday, many of his young friends are to take to the streets of Linwood on a sponsored walk.
They aim to raise up to £5,000 to help his friends and family, particularly with funeral expenses.
Friend Darren Owens, who is organising Saturday afternoon’s walk, said: “We hope lots of his friends will take part. Heppy was a lovely guy, really popular in Linwood, which is a small community.
“Everyone has been shocked by what has happened as it is a place where people know everybody.
“I know the target we have set is a big one, but I hope people respond to help his family. We have already raised £850 in a few hours.
“It’s a big ask but the guy was so popular that we can do this.”
Another friend in Linwood, Tricia Ross, backed the appeal and said: “I see Craig’s dad out walking their dog regularly and he was always talking about ‘ma boy’. It’s so sad.”
Bosses at a Paisley college have paid tribute to tragic student Craig.
He was studying to become a nurse at Reid Kerr College, where he will be remembered fondly.
Audrey Cumberford, Reid Kerr College principal, said: “We were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of Craig’s death.
“The thoughts of the staff and students are with his family and friends at this time.”
Craig was a member of Milngavie Pipe Band.
Meanwhile, villagers in Marsden are planning their own tribute.
St Bartholomew’s Church will open a book of condolence for all the people of the village who wish to express their feelings to Craig’s family.
The church – which was cordoned off by police during the initial inquiry – will be open for people to sign the book from 10am to 3pm tomorrow and Saturday and from 11am to 3pm on Sunday.
A church official said: “We hope that all the people of the village will express their sadness following this tragic event.
“Craig and Connor’s family and friends are in our hearts and prayers.”
TWO men charged with murdering a Scottish piper in Marsden have appeared before a judge.
Anthony David Driver, 36, and Luke Aaron Elliott, 21, appeared at Leeds Crown Court yesterday.
The charges come after 19-year-old Craig Hepburn, from Linwood, near Paisley was stabbed to death in Marsden in the early hours of last Saturday.
A second teenager, Connor Paton, 18, was left seriously wounded in hospital.
He underwent emergency surgery and has now returned home to Scotland.
The two friends had been visiting relatives of Mr Hepburn’s in the Colne Valley.
Police divers have searched the River Colne and other waterways and drains but it is thought the murder weapon has not yet been found.
During the hearing Elliot stood in the dock dressed in dark clothing while Driver appeared via video-link from Leeds prison at Armley.
Family members in the public gallery gasped as Driver’s face appeared on the screen.
Neither of the men spoke during the five- minute hearing other than to confirm their names.
Prosecution barrister, Jonathan Sharp, told the judge, The Recorder of Leeds, that there was still several weeks of forensic work to do before the case could be reviewed properly.
Neither man applied for bail and both were remanded in custody until another update hearing next Wednesday.