Neale Cooper: Alex McLeish devastated by former team-mate's death

Alex McLeish and Neale Cooper playing for Aberdeen against St Mirren in 1982
Alex McLeish (left) and Neale Cooper (far right) playing for Aberdeen against St Mirren in 1982

Scotland coach Alex McLeish says playing with Neale Cooper "was a privilege" as he paid tribute to the late Aberdeen midfielder.

Cooper died aged 54 on Monday after collapsing at the weekend.

McLeish, 59, played with Cooper at Aberdeen with the pair part of the Dons' 1983 European Cup Winners' Cup-winning side.

"I am devastated to hear the terrible news about Neale Cooper," said McLeish.

"Neale and I grew up together and I have known him since he was 14 years old. He was a talented team-mate and a good friend - someone you could always count on, both on and off the park.

"It was a privilege to have played alongside him and an even greater privilege to have counted him as one of my friends.

"My thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time."

Cooper also played for Aston Villa, Rangers, Reading, Dunfermline and Ross County and managed County before spells in charge of Hartlepool, Gillingham and Peterhead.

A tweet by Aberdeen Football Club
Aberdeen reacted to news of Cooper's death on Twitter

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