Aberdeen idol Neale Cooper dies aged 54
Last Updated: 28/05/18 11:10pm
Neale Cooper has died at the age of 54 after suffering injuries in a fall over the weekend.
The former Aberdeen and Rangers midfielder passed away on Monday evening at Aberdeen's Royal Infirmary, where he was being treated after being reportedly found at the bottom of a flight of stairs at a block of flats in the Bucksburn area of the city.
Cooper, who was part of Aberdeen's European Cup Winners Cup-winning side in 1983, won a series of honours while at Pittodrie, including two league titles.
Aberdeen issued a statement on Monday, which read: "The club is deeply shocked and saddened to hear Neale Cooper has tragically passed away.
"The thoughts of everybody at Aberdeen FC are with his family and friends at this very sad time."
Scotland manager Alex McLeish was among those to pay tribute to Cooper on Monday.
"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 fourteen 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 scored the winner for Aberdeen in the 1982 Scottish Cup final against Rangers and was part of the last team to beat Real Madrid in a European final, in the 1982 European Cup Winners Cup.
Former Scotland manager Craig Brown added his own tributes to Cooper, who also enjoyed spells with Aston Villa, Reading, Dunfermline and Ross County during his playing career.
"I don't think anybody can appreciate the fact that this has happened because he felt like an indestructible guy, wonderfully popular in Aberdeen and beyond," said Brown.
"I saw him for the last seven or eight years at every home match. Very loyal, very enthusiastic and quite frankly I can't believe this has happened."
Police Scotland North East have confirmed they are looking into the circumstances surrounding Cooper's fall.
"Police inquiries were ongoing throughout the night to establish the full circumstances, however the incident does not appear to be suspicious," Detective Inspector David Howieson said prior to Cooper's death on Monday.
"I would like to thank the local community for their patience whilst we have dealt with the incident."