A north-east family has been struck by a double tragedy as a promising teenager rugby star died only hours after his great uncle was killed following a farming accident.
Edward Cox was found by his parents Gary and Dawn on Thursday morning and, despite their best efforts to resuscitate him, later died.
Police have described the death in Inverurie as “unexplained” but there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.
The 17-year-old, who starred for Garioch RFC’s first XV, died only hours after his great uncle Ian Barclay died following a farming accident in Meikle Wartle last week.
Last night a spokesman for the family said: “We’ve got to come together to remember the life of Edward, we’ve got to come together to support one another as a family.
“He was sadly taken from us.”
The double tragedy came as Edward’s sister Abigail was given the go ahead to travel to America for potentially life-saving cancer treatment.
The 21-year-old has been battling the rare bone cancer condition Ewing’s Sarcoma since February 2014. Doctors have advised her that her best chance of recovery is a treatment available at a specialist centre in Houston, Texas.
In the wake the the deaths of Edward and Ian, relatives have renewed a brave fundraising campaign in an effort to pay Abigail’s medical bills and fight off another death in the family.
In the outpouring of grief for popular Inverurie family, the target figure of £35,000 was raised in less than 24 hours.
Edward and Abigail’s cousin Karina Cable has been fundraising for her cousin Abigail to get treatment abroad.
She said: “The day after the news about her acceptance, her and her family tragically lost Edward who was not only a son, brother, cousin, and nephew, but also a friend to many people within our community.
“A fun, loving, caring, energetic, cheeky, bright, and happy young lad that had a heart as big as anyone that we all know.”
“I can’t thank everyone enough for their time and effort today on helping raise money for Abigail’s first consultation to America for her cancer treatment. If we can keep the page going as long as possible for her other treatments our family would be very grateful.”
Hundreds of friends and relatives took to social media yesterday to express their grief for Edward, who worked at his father’s Edwards nightclub in Inverurie.
Mr Cox also runs the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen and has been raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Edward and Abigail have another sibling, Olivia.
One friend on social media remembered playing rugby with Edward when he was young.
He played with Garioch rugby club, which incorporates players from around the Inverurie area.
Another family friend added: “Edward you were a credit to all your family, you were the most polite young man and had a beautiful smile that everyone will always remember.”
Last night police confirmed that they were called out to a house in Inverurie on Thursday.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police were called yesterday at about 9:30am in relation to the sudden death of a 19-year-old man in the Inverurie area.
“The death is being treated as unexplained but there is no apparent suspicious circumstances.”
Last night Garioch RFC committee member Gareth Falls said: “Edward followed in his father’s footsteps and joined Garioch Rugby Club in Inverurie with the aim of earning a place in the First XV.
“Through determination and hard work, Edward succeeded and made his first appearance for the team this year.
“The club has lost a friend, a brother and a player who enjoyed life and made everyone smile and we send our condolences to his family.”