'To Brad, who I miss every day' - Irvine Welsh dedicates new book to murdered Edinburgh gym boss

Irvine Welsh has has spoken out about how murder of boxer and T2 star Bradley Welsh left him so devastated he couldn’t write for a long time.
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But the Trainspotting author has dedicated his new book to the former gym boss, he has revealed, ahead of its publication in August.

Welsh, 63, said the pair were close friends for more than 30 years and described his death as a “great loss".

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He first met former boxer Bradley, who starred in T2: Trainspotting, when they went to Hibs matches together.

Irvine Welsh pictured at Biscuit Factory in LeithIrvine Welsh pictured at Biscuit Factory in Leith
Irvine Welsh pictured at Biscuit Factory in Leith

The 48-year-old, who ran Holyrood Boxing Gym, was shot in the head at point blank range outside his Edinburgh New Town flat in April 2019. His partner and young child were inside at the time.

Three years on from the shooting, Welsh opened up about how it left him reeling and struggling with motivation. He suffered a further blow when two other friends died, the singer

Jake Black and record producer Andrew Weatherall.

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Gunned down: Gangland shooting victim Bradley Wels
Pic: Irvine WelshGunned down: Gangland shooting victim Bradley Wels
Pic: Irvine Welsh
Gunned down: Gangland shooting victim Bradley Wels Pic: Irvine Welsh

The author said: “The death of Brad, along with that of Jake Black and Andrew Weatherall dented my motivation to put pen to paper for a bit."

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“However, I know with great confidence how all three of them would disdain that as nonsense, so I’m happy to be back in the fiction arena again after working in film, theatre, TV and music.

“The Long Knives is the first book I’ve had out in four years. A lot has happened in that time, but there’s only one person I can dedicate this to.”

Welsh won the British ABA lightweight title in 1993 and was well known for his boxing talents. But he fell into gang culture as a teen, after following his brother into the Hibs casuals.

After serving time for extortion, the reformed criminal threw his weight behind charity work and helped Edinburgh’s marginalised communities. He said boxing was his salvation and

went onto support thousands of youngsters into the sport.

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Last year, Sean Orman, 31, was found guilty of his murder and is now serving a 28-year sentence for the offence.

Bradley's brother Sean claims police did not issue an updated Threat To Life Warning – known as an Osman letter – to his brother after learning of the plans to kill him.

After the trial, Sean lodged a complaint with Police ­Scotland over its handling of intelligence. Following a report by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) an investigation is ongoing, the Crown Office has said.

Recalling Bradley’s help following his last book coming out, Welsh told a newspaper: “When my previous book came out I asked Brad if he could receive the copies at his address

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as I was ducking and diving between Europe and the USA at the time, and distribute them to the boys back in Edinburgh.

“He was happy to do this. In the event the publishers, due to some mix up, sent only Spanish copies to his home. We laughed about it, and I never thought he wouldn’t be around when my next book came out.”

“I hope everyone enjoys the book, which is dedicated to Brad, who I miss every day.”

The novel reads: “This book is dedicated to the vivid and immortal spirit of Bradley John Welsh. Every day missed, every moment inspiring.”