David Hagen: Tributes paid to former Rangers, Hearts and Falkirk player who has died at 47

Ex-Scotland youth international succumbs to motor neurone disease

David Hagen, left, celebrates a goal against Partick Thistle in 1993 with Rangers team-mate Gary McSwegan.
David Hagen, left, celebrates a goal against Partick Thistle in 1993 with Rangers team-mate Gary McSwegan.

Former Rangers midfielder David Hagen has died at the age of 47, the Ibrox club have announced.

Hagen, who also played for Hearts and Falkirk, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2018.

Rangers said in a statement: "Rangers Football Club is saddened by the news of the death of former player, David Hagen.

David Hagen in action for Hearts in the 1995 Scottish Cup semi-final against Airdrie at Hampden.

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"We send our heartfelt condolences to the wider family circle at such a difficult time. Words cannot express, nor provide comfort, for a family during these circumstances.

"David will be remembered for his part in the famous nine in a row side and featured in the amazing 1992-93 season when Rangers won the treble and came within one game of the Champions League final."

A promising youth international, Hagen was part of the Scotland squad which reached the final of the 1989 Fifa Under-16 World Championship, where the young Scots lost on penalties to Saudi Arabia.

He made 16 league appearances for Rangers between 1992 and 1994, scoring three times.

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David Hagen, front row right, with the Scotland team before the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship final against Saudi Arabia at Hampden.

He was part of a clutch of young Scottish players trying to break into the first team while the Ibrox club were signing star names on huge transfer fees in a bid to make an impact on Europe under Walter Smith.

Their tilt at the 1992-93 Champions League saw them eliminate English champions Leeds United to reach the last-eight group stage. They went on to finish second in their group, behind eventual winners Marseille, and above Bruges and Dynamo Moscow.

Uefa rules limited the number of foreign players each side could field, so Rangers' young Scots got their chance.

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Hagen, along with the likes of Gary McSwegan, Scott Nisbet, Neil Murray and Steven Pressley were included in the Champions League squads. Hagen played in the win over Bruges but was unable to establish himself as a first-team regular at Rangers.

David Hagen, right, in action for Falkirk against Kilmarnock's Gary Holt in the 1997 Scottish Cup final.

He joined Hearts in December 1994, manager Tommy McLean paying £150,000 for the wideman. It was not a vintage Hearts team by any means but Hagen endeared himself to the Gorgie support by scoring an important last-minute winner against Celtic away as the Tynecastle club battled at the wrong end of the table. The game was played at Hampden as Celtic Park was being modernised.

In 1995 he moved to Falkirk where he enjoyed the most settled period of his career. He played 139 league games for the Bairns and helped them reach the Scottish Cup final in 1997 where they lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock.

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After leaving Falkirk, Hagen had spells at Livingston, Clyde and Peterhead, before finishing his career with non-league Bo'ness United in 2007.

Falkirk said in a statement on Friday night: "We are devastated to learn of the passing of David Hagen. David fought a courageous fight against MND and will forever be remembered by everyone associated with the club. The thoughts of all at Falkirk FC are with David’s family at this time."

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