Lifelong Hearts fan and angler who drowned while fishing in Highlands river died ‘doing what he loved’

A Midlothian family has paid tribute to a 68-year-old Hearts fan and keen angler who died while fishing in a Highlands river “doing what he loved.”

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 10:15 am
Donald Hughes died while fishing in the River Spey in June.

Donald Hughes, from Roslin, was night fishing alone in the River Spey, near Grantown, in the early hours of June 23. When he failed to return to where he was staying, police were informed and he was found drowned later that day. The full circumstances surrounding his death have yet to be established.

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, his sister Rhona Petrie said: “He had been going up there for years and years for the same holiday. He knew the waters well and he was known by the angling community up there.

“He was an experienced fisherman. He loved fishing and had been doing it since primary school. It was a neighbour of ours who taught him. He died doing what he loved.”

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Mrs Petrie said her brother was a lifelong Hearts supporter and season ticket holder and recalled her father taking him to watch a match when he was a boy.

Mr Hughes worked with Midlothian Council Library Service as a library assistant for about 25 years and had still been employed there before his death. His sister described him as an avid reader with an in-depth knowledge of fishing, Scottish history and the railways.

She said: “He had a great sense of humour, liked to have banter with people he worked with and was very quick witted.”

Friends and fellow Hearts supporters also paid tribute to Mr Hughes and offered their condolences to his family in a football group on Facebook, which he also helped to set up.

Midlothian Council director, Morag Barrow, said: “Donald had worked with us for more than 25 years and was a well-known face at Roslin Library.

"He was a kind and gentle man who was happy to help customers and his colleagues and always had a joke. He will be sorely missed and we offer our condolences again to his family.”

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