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Murdered soccer manager was to be a dad again

PUBLISHED: 17:34 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:57 12 August 2010

GRIEF: Peter Musgrove, the dead man’s uncle, lays flowers at the scene.

GRIEF: Peter Musgrove, the dead man's uncle, lays flowers at the scene.

FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to a footballer murdered in front of his team-mates at a training session. Father-of-two

GUNNED DOWN: Ryan Musgrove.

FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to a footballer murdered in front of his team-mates at a training session.

Father-of-two Ryan Musgrove, 36, from South Norwood, was shot several times by a masked gunman shortly after arriving at Sparrows Den playing fields in Corkscrew Hill, West Wickham, just before 6.30pm last Thursday.

It is thought the Coney Hall football manager, who has two teenage children, was due to be a father again and that his unnamed fiancée is three months pregnant.

His uncle Peter Musgrove visited the scene of his nephew's murder last Friday to lay flowers and speaking about the couple, he said: "They seemed perfect for each other. He gave a lot of time to football, but his biggest love was his family."

His fiancée's stepfather Julian French, 52, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, told the Bromley Times: "Ryan was my future son in law. I miss him terribly and he is in my thoughts continuously. This is so tragic - he will always be remembered by me. We had our disagreements occasionally, but he was a man who had a big heart, a real character and who I know loved my stepdaughter very deeply. He will never be forgotten."

A floral tribute lain at the playing fields, which are used by amateur sports clubs and popular with dog walkers, read: "Ryan, great manager and family man. RIP Ridler."

A post mortem revealed Mr Musgrove died from gunshot wounds to the heart, kidneys and spleen. Police are investigating whether the killing is gang related and said they are following up dozens of leads but have so far made no arrests.

Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane said: "Mr Musgrove parked at the side of the playing fields just after 6pm that evening.

"He walked through the gate and met two friends. The three men were standing talking at the side of the fields. Suddenly a man jumped out of the bushes, fired several shots with a small handgun then rode away on a mountain bike across the adjacent field in the direction of New Addington.

"The gunman appeared to deliberately target Mr Musgrove. He said nothing. I have no idea why Mr Musgrove was targeted.

"He had been going to the playing fields on Tuesdays and Thursdays regularly for football practice."

The suspect was dressed in dark clothing. He was between 5ft 10ins and 6ft 2ins, and wore a hat covering the whole of his head with large goggles and a white mask over the bottom half of his face.

Police say he is aged between his late teens and mid 30s and do not know his ethnicity.

A message on Coney Hall Football Club's website reads: "The thoughts of everyone within the club are with Ryan's family to whom we send our heartfelt condolences.

"The circumstances surrounding his death are the subject of a police investigation and the club will not make comment upon them or contribute to any speculation in this regard.

"Ryan will be remembered at the club as a huge personality and as a great football man who has made great strides in improving the senior section at Coney Hall during the past two seasons. He is missed."

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8721 4205 or Crimestoppers to remain anonymous on 0800 555 111.

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