Euromillions winner Colin Weir dies aged 71

28 December 2019, 09:11

Colin Weir has died aged 71
Colin Weir has died aged 71. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Colin Weir, one of Britain’s biggest ever lottery winners, has died after a short illness.

Mr Weir and wife Chris, from Largs in North Ayrshire, claimed the £161 million Euromillions jackpot in July 2011.

The 71-year-old former TV cameraman and his then-wife, a former psychiatric nurse, made the Sunday Times Rich List with their win eight years ago.

Earlier this year the pair confirmed they would divorce after 38 years of marriage.

Their £161 million prize was the UK's biggest win until October this year, when an anonymous ticket holder claimed a £170 million jackpot.

Colin and Chris split earlier this year after 38 years of marriage
Colin and Chris split earlier this year after 38 years of marriage. Picture: PA

A spokeswoman for Mr Weir’s personal lawyers said: "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Colin Weir early today after a short illness.

"We would ask for privacy for his family and friends at this distressing time.

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

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "incredibly sad" to hear of the death.

She said: "Colin's determination and generosity in the cause of Scottish independence cannot be overstated and was hugely appreciated.

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

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 of this year Mr Weir secured a majority shareholding at the club and promised to give the 55 per cent 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."