Death of Jags fan Colin Weir: £161m Euromillions winner dies aged 71

Colin Weir and wife Chris
Colin Weir won a then record jackpot with his wife Chris in 2011

BBC Scotland is reporting that Colin Weir, who won one of Europe’s biggest lottery jackpots, has died after a short illness aged 71.

Mr Weir and wife Chris, from Largs in North Ayrshire, claimed the £161m Euromillions prize in 2011.

Earlier this year the pair confirmed that they were to divorce after 38 years of marriage.

Mr Weir recently completed his takeover of Scottish Championship football club Partick Thistle and had announced plans to gift ownership of the club to fans.

A spokeswoman for his lawyers asked for “privacy for his family and friends at this distressing time”.

They said in a statement: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Colin Weir early today after a short illness.

“No further comment will be made other than to offer sincere thanks to the staff of University Hospital Ayr for their care and compassion.”

The couple defended making a donation of £1m to the independence campaign ahead of the 2014 referendum, and continued donating to the SNP afterwards.

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “incredibly sad” to hear of the death.

“Colin’s determination and generosity in the cause of Scottish independence cannot be overstated and was hugely appreciated,” she said.

“The SNP and the independence movement has lost a true friend today and we will miss him dearly.”

Majority shareholder

In 2013 the couple set up The Weir Charitable Trust and made a donation to a community football club in Largs.

They also invested in Partick Thistle Football Club which led to the youth set-up being rebranded the Thistle Weir Youth Academy and a section of their Firhill Stadium being named the Colin Weir Stand.

In November this year Mr Weir secured a majority shareholding at the club and promised to give the 55% shareholding directly to a fans group by March 2020.

The club tweeted: “It is with deep sadness that we confirm that lifelong Jags fan Colin Weir passed away earlier today.

“On behalf of everyone at Partick Thistle, our love, thoughts and prayers are with the family and close friends of Colin at this most difficult time.”

Recalling the night of their win back in 2011, the couple said they stayed awake all night after discovering their good fortune at about midnight as they checked their tickets on the BBC’s Red Button text service.

At the time it was one of Europe’s biggest ever lottery wins after a series of rollovers boosted the jackpot.

Mr Weir, who previously worked as a television cameraman, is survived by his two adult children.

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