IRVINE Welsh has dedicated his new book to murdered Edinburgh gym boss Bradley Welsh.
The Trainspotting author had been close friends with Welsh for more than 30 years and described his death as a “great loss.”
The 48-year-old, who ran Holyrood Boxing Gym, was gunned down outside his basement flat in Edinburgh’s New Town in April 2019.
Welsh, 63, said he first met the former boxer, who appeared as a gangland figure in the film T2: Trainspotting, when they traveled to Hibs matches together.
His new novel, The Long Knives, which is to be published in August, includes a dedication which reads: “This book is dedicated to the vivid and immortal spirit of Bradley John Welsh. Every day missed, every moment inspiring.”
Welsh said his death and that of two other friends, the singer Jake Black and record producer Andrew Weatherall, had left him unable to write for a long time.
He said: “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.
“When my previous book came out I asked Brad if he could receive the copies at his address 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 of him. We laughed about it, and I never thought he wouldn’t be around when my next book came out.
“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.
“I hope everyone enjoys the book, which is dedicated to Brad, who I miss every day.”
A former Hibs casual who served time in jail for extortion, Welsh won the British ABA lightweight title in 1993.
Boxing was his salvation and he devoted his time to charity work, making it his mission to promote sport as a vehicle for social change.
He was involved with charity Helping Hands, which fights inequality, and spent time encouraging youngsters to stay away from crime by getting involved in sport.
Last year, Sean Orman, 31, was found guilty of his murder and ordered to serve at least 28 years in jail.
The trial heard evidence that Orman gunned down Welsh outside his flat after being paid £10,000 by gangland figures to carry out the attack.
The Long Knives follows Detective Ray Lennox, played by Dougray Scott in the TV series crime, as he investigates the murder of a racist MP.
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