NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Ex-footballer Neale Cooper dies after collapsing

Neale Cooper Image copyright SNS
Image caption Neale Cooper was found in the stairwell of flats in the Bucksburn area of Aberdeen

Former Aberdeen and Rangers player Neale Cooper has died after collapsing at the weekend.

The 54-year-old was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after he was found in the stairwell of flats in the Bucksburn area of the city early on Sunday morning.

Aberdeen Football Club have confirmed he passed away on Monday.

Cooper was one of the Dons' Gothenburg Greats - part of the team that won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983.

Image copyright TWITTER
Image caption Aberdeen reacted to news of Cooper's death on Twitter

His death is not being treated as suspicious but police said their inquiries are continuing.

They have appealed for help in tracing a taxi driver who drove Mr Cooper from the centre of the city shortly before he was found.

Mr Cooper, another man and two women were picked up by a male taxi driver at around 00:30 on Sunday at Union Street, near Chapel Street.

They were all dropped off at Ferguson Court in Bucksburn.

Det Insp David Howieson said: "There are no apparent suspicious circumstances however inquiries are continuing to establish how the man came to be injured.

"We would appeal for the driver of a taxi, described as a black people carrier, which picked the four people up at Union Street in Aberdeen in the early hours of Sunday, to contact us on 101.

"The taxi driver is described as speaking with a local accent and had a beard. Anyone with information which may help our inquiries is asked to get in touch."

During his career Cooper managed Ross County, Peterhead, Hartlepool United and Gillingham and played with Aston Villa, Rangers, Reading, Dunfermline Athletic and Ross County.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Ross County, who Cooper guided to two promotions, tweeted about their former manager

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