Clyde in shock after death of Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell (number 16) in action for Clyde against Livingston
Chris Mitchell (number 16) in action for Clyde against Livingston

Players, officials and supporters of Clyde are in state of shock after the death on Saturday of the club’s former defender Chris Mitchell.

The 27-year-old died after being struck by a train near Stirling shortly before noon.

The news was broken to manager Barry Ferguson and his players as they travelled back from Elgin after a 2-0 win which clinched their place in this week’s League 1 promotion play-off final.

In a statement on the club website Ferguson paid tribute to the player who left the Bully Wee in January.

He said: “We’re all totally devastated by the news.

“I signed Chris and got to know him as his manager; he was an important part of our team. On the park he was great for me and he had one of the best set piece deliveries I’ve worked with in football.

“In addition to that I can honestly say, hand on heart, I never had a minute’s trouble with Chris. He was an excellent professional.

“He was a great guy around the dressing room. It’s sometimes easy to say these things after tragic news, but it’s completely true.

“I was really disappointed to lose him from the squad in January, but I had to respect the opportunity he had in full-time employment. We were both open to the idea of him coming back to Clyde in the future.

“Our condolences go out to Chris’s family and our thoughts are with them. I know that the boys will give it everything in the play-off final this week for Chris, to do him and his family proud.”

A club statement said everyone connected with Clyde FC was shocked and saddened.

It added: “Chris featured for The Bully Wee during the first half of the 2015-16 season, after joining the club from Queen of the South last summer. He made a significant contribution to the campaign, playing in 18 matches and recording six assists.

“In January, it was announced that Chris was leaving the club, due to the travel commitments required of a new full-time job. Commenting on the news at that time, Barry Ferguson praised Chris for his performances and his overall professionalism.

“Throughout his football career, Chris also played for Falkirk, Ayr United and Bradford City, and won seven caps at Scotland under-21 level.

“Barry, his staff and the players received the news when they were travelling back from Elgin as a group, and are today still coming to terms with the loss.

“The thoughts of everyone connected with Clyde FC are with Chris’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

“A minute’s silence will be observed before the League 1 play-off match against Queen’s Park at Broadwood on Tuesday night, in memory of Chris.”

Fans and former team-mates also took to social media to pay tribute and a minute’s applause in the 16th minute of Tuesday match - 16 being the player’s squad number - is also planned,