A talented young Scots footballer, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor three months ago while on his honeymoon, has died at the age of just 28.

With the permission of his family, Nairn County FC broke the devastating news of Calum Riddell’s passing late last night in an emotional statement.

The club described how Calum “passed away very peacefully surrounded by family and friends” at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on Tuesday afternoon.

His wife of just one year, Rebekah, said: “I now have the best guardian angel out there. Fly high, my little darling.”

Looking back at his short career, the club’s statement added: “Calum came through the club’s youth development programme as a youngster before moving on to Nairn St Ninian, where he spent eight successful seasons, playing a huge part in the Elginshire Cup winning team of 2012.

Evening Times:
Calum Riddell (Credit: Nairn County FC/Facebook)

“He returned to his boyhood club in the summer of 2016 for another crack at the Highland League and made 28 appearances before the early symptoms of the disease - that was to go on to claim his life - rendered him unavailable for selection towards the end of last season.”

Tributes and touching messages of support to both Calum and his family have been flooding in throughout the day.

Described as “a very popular guy who will be missed by a lot of people,” another heart-rending online tribute read: “RIP, Cal. Was a pleasure playing alongside you at Nairn Saints. Absolute warrior on and off the park. Going to miss your presence, big man. Take care up there.”

Another message read: “He was a year ahead of me when we were doing our joinery apprenticeship with Tulloch’s. Very good man and a genuine guy. Such a shame, my condolences are with his wife and family. May Calum forever rest in piece.”

Evening Times:
Fundraiser for Calum

Saturday’s home match against Huntly has been postponed. However, a benefit match on Sunday for the Calum Riddell Fund between Nairn County FC and the Calum Riddell All Stars will still go ahead at the request of Calum’s wife and family.

There will be a minute’s applause to honour Calum prior to kick-off at 1pm. All are welcome and encouraged to attend as early as possible.

A fundraiser set up a month ago by Calum’s loved ones to fund research into stage 4 glioblastoma has raised a massive £43,400. Click here for more information and to donate.