School and sporting fraternities mourn Matt

Gala Red Triangle under-15s after their victory over Biggar
Gala Red Triangle under-15s after their victory over Biggar

TRIBUTES have flooded in for a talented Galashiels teenager who was found dead at the weekend.

Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of 14-year-old Matt Lochrie.

Kenny McKay. Galashiels Academy Rector.

Kenny McKay. Galashiels Academy Rector.

An alert was raised around 8.20am on Sunday when the teenager’s body was discovered at his home in the town’s Catrail Road.

As is usual in such circumstances, the procurator fiscal has been informed.

It was a double blow for the Lochrie family – the teenager’s grandfather, Jimmy Lochrie, a former driver with the Tweeddale Press, died in Borders General Hospital on Friday.

The teenager was a skilful goalkicker for Gala Red Triangle rugby club under-15s and his school, Galashiels Academy, which has cancelled its match with Berwickshire High this Saturday as a mark of respect.

Ian Millar, Gala RFC youth development officer, said: “I coached him at Galashiels Academy as part of the under-15s squad and he was a really nice kid, a cheeky chappie. He was always smiling and a pleasure to coach. He will be sadly missed by his team-mates as they were a tight group of players.”

Gala Red Triangle secretary Scott Mitchell added: “The club offer their deepest sympathy to parents John and Jackie, and brother Brad, as well as its full support to other family members, friends and team-mates during this deeply traumatic time.”

Prelim exams at Galashiels Academy were postponed on Monday as a result of Sunday’s tragic news and head teacher Kenny McKay said: “The whole of the school community is shocked and saddened by news of the death of Matt Lochrie, one of our third-year pupils.

“Matt was an enthusiastic boy who very much enjoyed his sport, representing the school at both football and rugby. He also enjoyed cricket, playing locally, and was by all accounts a very skilful sportsman.

“Matt was a popular boy, both with his peers and with the students of other year groups – and he’ll be greatly missed.”

Mr McKay added: “The students of the Academy have reacted to this sad news with dignity and respect. They are pulling together to support each other through this difficult time. Their response is an indication of the high regard with which they held Matt.

“The whole of the community that is Galashiels Academy have Matt and his family in their thoughts just now, and offer their sincere condolences to them at this terrible loss.”

A Facebook site dedicated to the memory of the former Gala Fairydean Youths football club player has attracted nearly 2,000 people.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced at the time of going to press.