A young footballer killed in a horrific crash in the north-east has been described as a “cheeky chappy” and “lovely loon”.
Stuart Begg, 18, died after his green Ford Fiesta collided with a yellow Ford Transit on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road, near Keith last night.
A 23-year-old, who was in the van with two other people aged 28 and 19, is in a critical condition at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The crash happened near the Blackhillock junction, just south of the town, at about 7.30pm.
Police, fire, paramedics and an air ambulance were called but Mr Begg, from Keith, could not be saved.
His family were too upset to comment today.
However, tributes flooded in for the former Keith Grammar School pupil online – with his football teams past and present leading them.
Macduff AFC said the “tough defender” had made an impression both on and off the pitch since joining earlier this year, and revealed they would be retiring his number 24 jersey as a mark of respect.
In a social post, the club said: “This is a post we never wanted to write. However here goes.
“Our games this week are cancelled due to the passing of Stuart Begg (affectionately known as Beggy or Sbegg to the lads.)
“He was only with us since the beginning of this season but his influence both on and off the pitch was a massive factor in our improvement.
“The tough defender joined from Vales Development and from the get-go immediately became one of our core members on the pitch and in our WhatsApp group.
‘He always had a joke to crack’
“He always had a joke to crack and a smile on his face. This is why we took him into our hearts so quickly and why this hurts so much.
“We would like to pass our thoughts and prayers onto his family and friends during this difficult time.
“As a mark of respect the club will retire the number 24 jersey. RIP Stuart Begg #24.”
Deveronvale Community Football Club said: “Stuart was a popular and likeable lad amongst the squads he was involved in, talented with a great sense of humour.
“Stuart also gave up his time to support coaches at other age groups too.
“In his time at the club he received the Jay Galloway trophy which acknowledged Stuart’s commitment to the club.
“Our thoughts are with Stuart’s family, friends and teammates at this very sad time.
“Once a Colts legend… always a Colts legend.”
Turiff United Youth football club also shared fond memories of their former player and described him as a “great character”.
“Stuart played with our 2002’s and was such a great character in the team,” a statement posted online said.
“He always had a smile on his face and was such a cheeky chappy.
“Even though he lived in Keith, he loved coming through to Turriff and playing for the team.
“A lovely loon taken far too soon. Everyone at the club sends their thoughts and prayers to Stuart’s family at this very sad time.”
Mr Begg’s friends also paid tribute online, remembering him as a “cracking player”, a “true gent” and a “topper of a young man who always had time to talk when you met him.”