Friday December 22, 2006
Children watched in horror as a Santa Claus collapsed and died as he handed out presents at a Christmas party on Sunday.
Andrew Robertson was taken ill as the excited youngsters received their gifts. The 82-year-old was taken to a side room and attempts made to revive him, but he was pronounced dead when medics arrived.
Mr Robertson, from Dundee, had played Santa at the city's Broughty Castle bowling club Christmas party, held for the grandchildren of members, for several years.
"Andy was a father figure in the club who never had a bad word to say about anyone," Ian Smart, the bowling club's secretary, said. "If you asked him to do anything for you, he would always say 'no problem'.
"One wee kid said 'how are we going to get our presents next week if Father Christmas is ill?' - they didn't understand what had happened."
Mr Smart said Mr Robertson, who had played an active role in the club, was "well liked and will be sorely missed".
Mr Robertson's brother, Alister, said he had complained about feeling hot shortly before collapsing.
"The kids saw him getting taken away," he told the Courier newspaper. "They knew something was wrong with Santa Claus as he went away with the two guys, but they didn't see anything further.
"It has been quite a shock for everybody, but my view is that he was there thoroughly enjoying himself when he was struck down."
Awww. Poor Santa.