Robert Rowan: Brentford technical director dies at age of 28
Robert Rowan, the technical director of Championship club Brentford, has died at the age of 28.
The Scot was appointed to the role in February, having previously spent three and a half years as the club's head of football operations.
During that time, he was integral to Brentford's decision to close its academy and implement a B-team model.
Previously, he was sporting director of Stenhousemuir and worked as a scout and analyst for Celtic and the Scottish FA.
"All at the club have been left devastated by the news," read a statement.
"All our thoughts are with Robert's wife, his family and all his friends - many of whom work at Brentford FC."
From the bank to Brentford - analysis
BBC Sport Scotland's Richard Winton
Rowan was 23 and working a bank in Rosyth when he was first approached by Brentford. A few weeks later, he was working for the English Championship club's scouting department.
The tale was one the likeable Fifer told with scarcely contained incredulity, but his talents and attitude had opened doors for him before. Celtic, Bolton, Rio Ave, Eskisehirspor and the Scotland national team had all leaned upon his scouting talents; he had coached in Sweden; and he was combining his role in the bank with a position in Scottish League One with Stenhousemuir.
Ideas and enthusiasm spilled out from Rowan, whose break came at the age of 18 after he sent a scouting report on the Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome to 'the manager' at every senior club in England and Scotland. Remarkably, Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Celtic replied, with the latter inviting him in for a chat, then offering some scouting work.
Latterly, Rowan was hugely well thought of at Brentford and respected in the wider English game. His loss - at such a young age - is one to football as well as to those who knew him.