Foul play fears over death of Hibs’ Eric Schaedler

Erich Schaedler in 1981. Pic: SNS
Erich Schaedler in 1981. Pic: SNS
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THE family of former Hibs footballer Erich Schaedler believe there are still unanswered questions surrounding his death almost 30 years ago.

Schaedler was found in his Volkswagen Passat in the Cardrona Forest in the Borders on Christmas Eve, 1985, with a single shotgun wound to the head. His death at the age of 36 was recorded as suicide.

However, a new book on the life of the player by Scotsman sports editor Colin Leslie reveals that his family still believe he may have been the victim of foul play.

His brother John Schaedler is quoted as saying: “I accept that suicide is a possibility, but in my opinion there are a lot of unanswered questions and I can’t rule out that he died as the result of foul play.

“Where they found him was not somewhere we had ever gone, which was odd. What I found really strange was that his car had been completely covered with branches and foliage. Why go to all that trouble of covering the car?

“And another strange thing was that when we got the car back a few weeks after he died, there was absolutely no evidence that a gun had gone off in the car. No bullet holes – nothing – just a few little pin-sized holes in the roof lining.”

He added: “There are so many things that don’t ring true,” he said. “Afterwards I would start to hear all the stories: that he’s in debt, that he’s involved with the wrong people. People were contacting me and calling me up to Edinburgh. I got a call from an ex-CID officer. He was pushing it because Erich had helped his son in the hospital. He was

told to drop it, but why were people higher up telling him to drop it?”

Schaedler, from Biggar, started his career at Stirling Albion in 1969 before moving to Hibs later that year. He was part of Hibs’ famous “Turnbull’s Tornadoes” side that won the Drybrough Cup then League Cup in 1972-73, and the Drybrough Cup in 1973-74.

Police said they have no plans to reopen the case. 12q