Holyrood political aide David Hill dies after Parliamentary rugby match

David Hill with Scottish rugby union coach Gregor Townsend Credit: Scottish Parliament RFC/Twitter

Scotland's First Minister has led tributes to a Dumfriesshire political aide, who died when playing a cross-party rugby match for Holyrood.

30-year-old David Hill was playing in a match against Dail and Seanad XV when he died. It is understood to be the result of a head injury and heart complications. The match took place in Dublin on the afternoon of Saturday 19 March.

David's father posted on social media, as tributes flooded in for his son. Roger Hill said the "pain is unbearable" and his family is "broken" after news of his death.

"I can't believe I'm writing this. My amazing son David passed away today playing rugby in Dublin for the Scottish Parliament.

"He was the best and the pain is unbearable. We are broken." David Hill, who was described as "rugby daft", worked as the head of office for Scottish Tory MSP and Holyrood justice spokesman Jamie Greene.

Mr Greene described him as a "friend, colleague and confidant for so many in the Scottish Parliament over the years".

He said Mr Hill "loved his politics, but he loved his rugby more", and added: "The whole parliament, my party and the whole rugby community is deeply saddened by this awful news today, and our condolences lie entirely with his family, friends and colleagues."

Politicians from all sides have been paying tribute to a member of the Scottish Conservatives who died during a rugby match between the Scottish and Irish parliamentary teams. 

The Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: "Our whole party is shocked and saddened by David's tragic passing. He was a kind, generous, well-liked and highly respected part of our team. We will all miss him dearly. Our thoughts are with his family and friends." 

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also paid tribute saying: "This is so terribly sad. My deepest condolences to David's family, friends and colleagues and of course to his Holyrood Rugby teammates who I know are all deeply shocked and heartbroken."

Finlay Carson, Conservative MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries said: "We are all in a state of grief after the dreadful news of David’s death. He was a much loved and valued colleague and friend.

"Away from party politics, I had the pleasure of joining him on the Scottish Parliament Rugby team, where he was the quintessential ambassador for not only the game of rugby of which he was passionate but for the Scottish Parliament.

"I never once heard him speak ill of anyone or hear anyone speak ill of him. A true gentleman in every way, he will be greatly missed."

Described as 'rugby daft' by his family, David played for Dumfries Saints and was a regular at Scotland internationals. The condolences of everyone at Scottish Rugby were also sent to his family and friends.