A FORMER Glasgow rugby star has died while competing in a gruelling triathlon in Singapore.
Steve Begley, 42, is believed to have taken ill during the sprint swimming event in the competition, which also involves long-distance running and cycling.
He was pulled from the water by rescue crews, but paramedics were unable to save him.
Mr Begley had been a pivotal member of the Glasgow squad when the team turned professional in the mid 1990s.
Tributes poured in yesterday.
Former Scotland World Cup ace Glenn Metcalfe, who played alongside Begley for Glasgow and other sides, said: “I was so sad when I heard the news. Steve was the first guy I met when I arrived in Glasgow from New Zealand in 1996.
“He was a larger than life character who was always fun to be around. He was a mate to everyone and a pleasure to have known.”
Metcalfe, now back in New Zealand working as a firefighter, added: “He was one of life’s fun guys and I will miss the big geezer.”
Hawks past president Chas Afuakwah said: “The news was hard to believe. Steve had just taken up rugby again after a spell out of the sport and he had taken part in several triathlons.
“I gather he had done one stint of swimming and had then done the running part of the competition. There was a second swim and it was when he was back in the water that something happened.”
Mr Begley had moved to Singapore 10 years ago to pursue his career in the financial services industry.
A spokesman from the Triathlon Association of Singapore said: “We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of a competitor during the swim portion of the International Triathlon.
“Immediate medical assistance and resuscitation was commenced at the event site. The competitor was transported to Singapore General Hospital. Sadly, he could not be revived. We are saddened and all our prayers are with his family at this time.”
A post mortem examination will be held.