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Chris Mitchell (Scottish footballer)

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Chris Mitchell
Mitchell with Scotland U21 in 2009
Personal information
Full name Christopher Philip Mitchell[1]
Date of birth (1988-07-21)21 July 1988
Place of birth Stirling, Scotland
Date of death 7 May 2016(2016-05-07) (aged 27)
Place of death Stirling, Scotland
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Defender, midfielder
Youth career
Livingston
2006–2007 Falkirk
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2011 Falkirk 39 (1)
2010Ayr United (loan) 10 (1)
2011–2012 Bradford City 11 (1)
2012–2015 Queen of the South 65 (2)
2015–2016 Clyde 15 (0)
Total 140 (5)
National team
2008–2009 Scotland U21 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Christopher Philip Mitchell (21 July 1988 – 7 May 2016) was a Scottish professional footballer who played as a defender or midfielder.

Mitchell began his senior career at Scottish Premier League club Falkirk who also loaned him to Ayr United. He then had a season in England with Bradford City before joining Queen of the South in 2012. In his first season at Queens he won the Scottish Challenge Cup and Scottish Football League Second Division. At the end of that season he was named in the division's PFA Scotland Team of the Year. Mitchell had a brief spell at Clyde in 2015–16.

Complications from spinal surgery ended his professional career at Queen of the South, and he left Clyde to establish a new career. Mitchell suffered depression due to his change of career and took his own life at a level crossing at the age of 27.[2]

Football career

Falkirk

Stirling born Mitchell was in the youth system at Livingston then Falkirk.[3] At Falkirk he graduated to the first team. In a pre-season game in 2007 he scored the winning goal against Dutch team Ajax.[3] He made his competitive debut on 22 December 2007 as an added-time substitute in a 3–0 Scottish Premier League victory at Motherwell. He finished his first season with five appearances the last three of which were starts.[4] On 21 November 2009 he scored his only competitive goal for the Bairns. This 20-yard free kick was in a 2–0 home win against Hamilton Academical for a first league win of the season.[5]

Mitchell moved to Ayr United on loan on 22 January 2010 for the rest of the season.[6] He made ten appearances for the Honest Men in the Scottish Football League First Division. He scored the opening goal of a 1–1 draw at Raith Rovers on 27 March again from another free kick but from 30 yards.[3][7]

In his time at Falkirk he won seven caps for the Scotland national under-21 football team.[8] The first was on 20 May 2008 in a 4–1 friendly loss to Norway at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock.[3]

Bradford City

Mitchell signed for Bradford City on 1 July 2011 on a one-year deal along with Falkirk teammate Mark Stewart.[3][8] He made his debut against Aldershot Town[3] at Valley Parade on 6 August. He played the full 90 minutes in this 1–2 loss on the opening day of the Football League Two season.[9] On 27 August Mitchell provided three assists during a 4–2 home win against Barnet.[3][10]

On 8 November he scored the winning spot-kick as the Bantams defeated Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield United 6–5 in a penalty shootout. This was in the quarter-finals of the Football League Trophy.[11] On 19 November Mitchell scored his first goal for the club [3] in a home game Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United.[3] Despite Mitchell's headed equaliser his side lost 2–3.[12] On 28 April 2012 Bradford announced that he would leave the club with his contract ended by mutual consent. Michael Flynn and Craig Fagan were also included in the announcement.[13]

Queen of the South

On 26 July 2012 Mitchell returned to Scotland initially on a one-year contract. He signed for newly relegated Scottish Football League Second Division team Queen of the South.[14][15] He scored nine minutes into his debut for the Doonhamers. This goal on 4 August opened a 5–2 win over Alloa Athletic in the first round of the Scottish League Cup.[3][16]

On 7 April 2013 Mitchell played in the Scottish Challenge Cup final at the Almondvale Stadium in Livingston. He played the full 120 minutes of the 1–1 draw against Partick Thistle. Mitchell scored with his side's penultimate kick in a penalty shootout they won 6–5.[17] In his first season in Dumfries he played in 33 league games of a title winning campaign. He scored twice in that campaign – both against Stenhousemuir.[3] QoS had six players including Mitchell named in the division's PFA Scotland Team of the Year.[3][18]

Next season back in the second tier Queens finished fourth making the play offs.[3]

Injury disrupted Mitchell's third and final season at Palmerston Park.[3]

Clyde

On 11 May 2015 Mitchell agreed to join Clyde of Scottish League Two on a one-year deal.[19] The 4–2 win over Elgin City at the Broadwood Stadium on 14 November 2015 was Mitchell's only career dismissal.[20]

He left Clyde in February 2016 in order to focus on a new job.[3][21]

Death

Complications from surgery for spinal injury caused Mitchell to go from playing professionally for Queen of the South to part-time for Clyde while working in a factory.[2] He eventually left the sport to train as a salesman for his uncle's company, but during his training he confessed that he was depressed and his family took him to see a psychologist; he was placed on medication but stopped taking it due to side effects.[2]

On 7 May 2016, while his partner Louise Rooney was in London, Mitchell went to a level crossing in Cornton near his home in Stirling and telephoned her to say that he was intending to kill himself. The call was still live when he was fatally struck by the train.[2]

Reaction

On 10 May, Clyde paid tribute to Mitchell in their play-off game against Queen's Park.[22] Falkirk did the same against Hibernian four days later.[23]

Clyde, Falkirk, Queen of the South and Bradford joined with Mitchell's family to make a charitable foundation in his name, to help former professionals make the transition into new jobs.[24]

Honours

Queen of the South

References

  1. ^ "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2011 and 31/07/2011" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Morrison, Jenny (11 February 2018). "'I was on the phone to Chris when he died - I heard everything:' Footballer's girlfriend reveals moment she lost him". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Obituary. Chris Mitchell". Queen of the South F.C. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  4. ^ Chris Mitchell at Soccerbase
  5. ^ "Falkirk 2 - 0 Hamilton". BBC Sport. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Changes to the Squad". Ayr United F.C. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Match report: Raith Rovers 1 Ayr United 1". The Courier. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Bradford City sign Falkirk duo Stewart and Mitchell". BBC Sport. BBC. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Bradford 1-2 Aldershot". BBC Sport. BBC. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Bradford 4-2 Barnet". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Bantams too sharp for Blades". Sky Sports. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Bradford 2-3 Rotherham". BBC Sport. BBC. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Flynn and Mitchell leave City - Fagan on his way" Archived 1 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine Bradford City F.C. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  14. ^ "QosFC: Another Addition to the Squad". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Scottish Division Two ins and outs". BBC Sport. BBC. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Queen of the South 5-2 Alloa". BBC Sport. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  17. ^ a b Miller, Stevie (7 April 2013). "Queen of the South 1-1 Partick Thistle". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  18. ^ "PFA Scotland Team of the Year includes four from both Celtic and Motherwell". STV. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  19. ^ "New Signing: Chris Mitchell". Official Clyde Football Club Website. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Clyde 4-2 Elgin City". 14 November 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  21. ^ Marshall, Bill (8 May 2016). "Former Bradford City player Chris Mitchell dies aged 27 Former Bradford City player Chris Mitchell, who has died aged 27 Former Bradford City player Chris Mitchell, who has died aged 27". The Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Clyde 1-3 Queen's Park: Spiders have a foot in League One ahead of Hampden showdown". Herald. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  23. ^ Hannan, Martin (14 May 2016). "Football: Hibs' Premiership dream dies as Falkirk celebrate". The National. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  24. ^ MacLean, Ian (18 May 2016). "Clyde and Falkirk support tribute to Chris Mitchell". Falkirk Herald. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
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Chris Mitchell (Scottish footballer)
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