FOOTBALLER Gary Riddell, 22, collapsed and died yesterday while

running in a half marathon in Dunfermline.

Mr Riddell, of Wymet Court, Dunfermline, stumbled and fell almost at

the 10 mile point. A doctor running in Aberdour Road, where the runners

had completed an uphill stretch, went to his aid and an ambulance crew,

only 100 metres away, was also called in. He was taken to Dunfermline

and West Fife hospital but was dead on arrival.

A former Aberdeen player, from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, he had been

with Dunfermline Athletic for almost three years after signing for

#40,000, and played regularly for the Fife club, recently promoted to

the Premier Division.

His parents yesterday travelled to Dunfermline, to be met by the

club's chairman, Mr Mel Rennie. News of the tragedy was relayed to

manager Jim Leishman who is on holiday in the US.

The half marathon, organised by Dunfermline District Council, and

billed as The Big Race, is an annual one with almost 2000 runners. Mr

Riddell recently told friends he was so moved by the Hillsborough

disaster, he would run the half marathon to raise money for the appeal


Dunfermline vice-chairman Bill Braisby, said: ''Everyone at the club

is deeply shocked at Gary's death. Only two weeks ago, he was with the

rest of the players on an end of season tour to Tenerife and seemed in

perfect health. He was clean living, a non-smoker, and a credit to the

club. We are deeply upset.''

Fife Police confirmed later there were no suspicious circumstances and

said a report is being prepared for the procurator-fiscal.

The race attracts serious athletes and personalities from all over the

country. One of the other runners was Fife MP Dick Douglas, running in

protest against the poll tax.

Gary Riddell