“This is a terribly sad day for our sport. Russell was a really popular figure within badminton, liked by everyone who met him, and our heart goes out to his wife Julie,” said BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie.
“He was dedicated to our sport, first as a player, then in coaching, and most recently in disability sport and we will all miss him. We are all full of admiration for the way he carried on despite his illness. It was only a few weeks ago that he was a key member of the team which delivered the badminton competition at the London 2012 Olympics.”
Russell Hogg (pictured left) was born in Dunfermline and started playing badminton at age ten. His father introduced him to the sport and Russell developed his game at Alloa Badminton Club. Once in the senior ranks, he rapidly grew into a doubles player of international quality and made his Scotland debut in 1986, playing his last match in 2003 to finish on 117 alongside another Scotland great, Dan Travers. Only Russell’s Men’s Doubles partner Kenny Middlemiss (155) and Kenny’s wife Elinor (137) won more Scotland caps.
Between 1988 and 2002, Hogg won the Scottish National Men’s Doubles title ten times; eight with Middlemiss. He also won the Mixed Doubles twice with Kirsteen McEwan-Miller. On the world tournament circuit he reached a career best of No. 8 in Mixed Doubles and No. 17 in Men’s Doubles.
The high point of his international career was being part of Scotland’s squad which took team bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester which, as he said at the time, “made up for the disappointments of 1994 and 1998”.
His enduring love for his sport was there for all to see, but was summed up in one word when he was asked ‘If not badminton I would be?’ His answer: Unhappy.
After retiring from playing, Russell worked for North Ayrshire Leisure as Badminton Development Manager before joining the BADMINTONscotland staff in November 2004 as National Development Manager. From August 2006 until February 2010 he was Development Manager before leaving BADMINTONscotland to become Participation Manager for Scottish Disability Sport so he could work in an area that he cared about so much.
Former Scotland international and former National coach Dan Travers said: “Russell’s passing leaves a huge void in the lives of everyone in our badminton community. His dedication to his sport was there for all to see. I had the pleasure of playing at the same time as Russell, albeit my career was drawing to a close as he was starting out. I was also team manager when he was at the peak of his game. He was a key member of our team that won the bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. You couldn’t wish for a better squad member. He was a determined player but, off court, had a lovely, easy-going nature and his sense of humour and ability to make us laugh will be remembered fondly by all his friends."
“Our thoughts right now are with Julie and Russell’s family. He will be greatly missed.”