South Scotland

Young footballer dies in train accident

Ross Cook Image copyright Newburgh Juniors
Image caption Ross Cook was in his second season with Newburgh Juniors FC

Tributes have been paid to a talented Dumfriesshire footballer who died at the weekend.

Family, friends and teammates shared their grief after 19-year-old Ross Cook was killed after being struck by a train while visiting family in Sanquhar.

Mr Cook was on a night out with friends on Saturday when the tragedy happened.

He played for Newburgh Juniors in Fife and also with his university football team at Abertay.

British Transport Police were called to Kirkconnel station at 11:00 on Sunday following reports that a body had been found on the tracks.

Police and ambulance attended and a 19-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is thought to have been a tragic accident.

Mr Cook's sister Ashley took to social media to thank well-wishers for messages, cards and flowers.

She said: "Devastated that I have lost the best wee brother and a special friend.

"We are heartbroken and nothing will be the same again without Ross, he was one in a million."

'Hard to comprehend'

On the Abertay University football team's website, a tribute read: "Ross just entered his second year with the club and was evidently Abertay daft.

"Ross not only greatly contributed on the park as a regular in the first team but also contributed greatly to every night out and will remain in the hearts of everyone at Abertay FC."

Ross signed for Newburgh Juniors in season 2016-17 and re-signed to the club on his return to Abertay University in September 2017.

Image copyright Newburgh Juniors
Image caption Ross Cook's manager at Newburgh said he lived for his football

Newburgh have cancelled this Saturday's game away to Coupar Angus in the East Region North league as a mark of respect.

Manager Alan Fortune told the BBC Scotland News website: "The club did the right thing.

"It has just been hard to comprehend.

"He showed a maturity that belied his years, he fitted in and never had an angry word.

"Football was his life and he set a great example with his high standards."

Mr Cook was a member of the Queen of the South Youth Academy between 2000 and 2015.

The club paid their respects to his family in a statement, saying: "Everyone at Queen of the South was saddened to hear of the tragic death of Ross Cook, one of our former youth players over the weekend.

"Our thoughts at this sad time are with his family and friends."

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