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RANGERS youth coach John Chalmers has been found hanged.

Friends last night blamed the suicide on the breakdown of his marriage and stress at work.

John, who has twin teenage sons, was found hanging from a tree on the edge of a golf club a few miles from his home near Glasgow.

Last night his heartbroken family were too upset to talk about the tragedy.

And staff and players at Ibrox, where John had been a coach for almost 20 years, were still reeling from the shock.

A Rangers insider told the Daily Record: "We are truly stunned. John played a major part in the boys team."

It is understood John, 49, separated from his wife a year ago but friends suggested the couple had been trying to get back together.

The insider added: "Sadly, John had his own worries over a split with his wife."

It was also claimed John had been under pressure at work.

The insider said: "He was a terrific guy, but although he was with the club almost 20 years, he never seemed to fit it with the older coaches and senior management.

"Maybe it was because he never came through the ranks as a player. John was a school teacher when he first arrived at Ibrox in the early 1980s."

A friend found John's body hanging from a tree on the edge of Lenzie Golf Club at Auchinloch, on the outskirts of Glasgow, just after 6pm on Wednesday.

An official spokesman for Rangers said last night: "Our deepest sympathies go out to Mr Chalmers's family and friends."

SFA official Jim Fleeting also paid tribute to John.

He said: "I am truly stunned. John was a true gentleman - a wonderful and lovely guy. He will be missed by so many."

During his time with Rangers, John coached the under-12s, before moving on to the 14 and 15-year-olds.

He took the boys all over the world with the club.

John also did a spell as a youth development officer at Ibrox.

His 18-year-old sons Iain and Derek had been groomed for potential stardom with Rangers.

Iain is still an apprentice player, while Derek left to take up physiotherapy.

Earlier this year John, who lived in Lenzie, was instrumental in bringing the son of Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag to have a trial at Ibrox.

Peter Gloag, 14, was invited to the club after being watched by a talent scout.

John said at the time: "The boy wrote in before Christmas and was then seen by a scout in his area.

"For every 1000 that write in, there might be one that is good enough, so we follow them all up.

"He'll come in for a couple of weeks training and we will see how he does."

He added "There is no point taking on boys to build up their hopes then release them at the end of their schooling.

"I don't want pressure put on the boy, so let's take it one stage at a time.

"If he matches up to the standard we are expecting he will perhaps be kept on.

"If not, we will thank him for his interest and wish him all the best."

A spokesman for Strathclyde police said yesterday that a report about John's death had been submitted to the procurator fiscal.
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Author:Beaton, Charles
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 8, 1999
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