Bradley Welsh, who played gangland kingpin Doyle in Trainspotting 2, is dead after suffering ‘serious wounds to the head’
An actor who starred in Trainspotting 2 is dead after being shot in the head in Edinburgh.
Bradley Welsh, who also appeared on an episode of Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men in 2008, was gunned down in the city’s west end.
The 42-year-old was a reformed football hooligan turned charity worker, reports the Daily Record.
The dad, who has an eight-year-old daughter, played gangland kingpin Doyle in T2 and is pals with its author Irvine Welsh, who has paid tribute to the actor.
Sources said he had suffered “life-threatening” wounds to the head.
Author Irvine Welsh paid tribute to the actor on Twitter, writing: “Bradley John Welsh, my heart is broken.
Goodbye my amazing and beautiful friend.
“Thanks for making me a better person and helping me to see the world in a kinder and wiser way.”
Two years ago Mr Welsh said in an interview that he almost missed out on the Trainspotting 2 role for being “too aggressive” as he delivered his lines in an audition for Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle.
Mr Welsh got the crime boss role despite having no previous acting experience. When he appeared on Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men in 2008 he described himself as a “born leader” on the episode.
The former British ABA Lightweight boxing champion later became involved in charity projects in Edinburgh, including helping young people stay away from crime through his Holyrood Boxing Gym.
He was also involved with Edinburgh charity Helping Hands which fights inequality in the city.
Police Scotland have confirmed that a man died in Wednesday night’s incident and the death is being treated as ‘suspicious’.
Armed police and paramedics flooded the scene in Edinburgh after the incident around 8.30pm.
t is believed Mr Welsh had left his boxing gym a short time before he was killed.
The area was put on lockdown and residents were told to stay indoors, eyewitnesses said.
Edinburgh Police Division wrote on Facebook: “We received a report of a disturbance in Chester Street at around 8pm on Wednesday 17th April
“On arrival of emergency services a man was found seriously injured in the street and sadly passed away at the scene.
“His death is being treated as suspicious and inquiries are continuing.
Officers will continue to provide a high-visibility presence in the area to engage with the public, offer reassurance and gather information that can assist with this investigation.”
Writing on social media, local resident Alasdair Morton, 46, said: “I came out the house and we were told to go back in.
“Around three police cars and a black van drove along the street and the traffic then stopped.
“I initially thought it was a police escort then when I had a look there must have been a dozen or so police with guns pushing the traffic back.
“We’ve not been told anything but police waved through some ambulances.
They said ‘there’s a gunshot wound to the head somewhere’.
“We could still hear noises that suggested there was a situation still going on.”
Armed officers raced to Chester Street in the city’s west end around 8.30pm and part of the road is cordoned off.
A source told the Record a man suffered ‘serious wounds to the head’ and residents were instructed to stay indoors.
In January 2017, Mr Welsh explained how he had almost missed out on his role in Trainspotting 2.
He said he was holding an event called Pads for Charity in Edinburgh in 2014, and his friend and author Irvine Welsh brought Mr Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge, helping to raise more than £44,000.
After being told they were planning a sequel to Trainspotting, Mr Welsh offered to help them find filming locations around Edinburgh, and that led to an audition which he initially feared he had botched.
He told the Scottish Sun: “I played it too aggressively. I got it all wrong.
“Danny thanked me for my audition and the minute I walked out the door I said to a friend ‘I f***ed that up’.
“What they wanted was me to be all calm and nonchalant — which is even more intimidating. They didn’t want all the aggression and violence.”
Mr Welsh said he later ran into Mr Boyle at a charity event, and the filmmaker agreed the businessman did “f*** up” his audition, but he got the part following a second audition.
In the 2017 film, Mr Boyle’s character Doyle owns seedy saunas in Edinburgh and targets Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) over their plans to open a rival brothel.
Doyle forces the pair to strip in one intimidating scene.
Friends and local residents have paid tribute to Mr Welsh on social media following his death
A Twitter user wrote: “Rest in Peace Bradley Welsh. A coloured past however truly cared for the Edinburgh community, setting up food banks and coaching young children in boxing.
“Will be missed terribly. Thoughts go out to friends and family. A true Hibernian soldier.”
Another user wrote: “Absolutely devastated to hear we have lost one of Edinburgh’s finest, Bradley Welsh.
“Owner of Holyrood Boxing Club. The kindest most compassionate friend ever.
“Such an inspirational man.”
One woman posted a picture of her and friends alongside Welsh in a boxing ring, writing: “You to me are treasure, you to me are dear. Our coach, our motivator but most importantly our friend, Brad Welsh.”
One man described Welsh as a “huge character” in Edinburgh.
He added: “Devastating news about Brad Welsh tonight, a huge character in Scottish amateur boxing and the Hibernian support and someone who contributed a great deal to society through his charitable work and boxing gym. RIP.”