Trainspotting 2 actor Bradley Welsh was assassinated after £130,000 worth of hard drugs he was hired to protect went missing, it is claimed.

Mr Welsh was shot in the head as he was walking down the stairs to his Edinburgh flat while his partner and eight-year-old daughter were inside.

The 48-year-old former football hooligan ran a local boxing gym and helped Edinburgh charities, and had gained wider fame for his role in the Trainspotting sequel in 2017 and an appearance on Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men over a decade ago.

It is claimed that Mr Welsh's murder came just weeks after a package containing 3kg of heroin and 2kg of cocaine – worth about £130,000 on the street – disappeared.

A source told the Daily Star that Mr Welsh was acting as muscle for the cargo and "had to answer" when it disappeared.

The source added: "It's not that he was in debt but the drugs had been lost and they were his responsibility.

"If it goes missing you pay, simple as.

"He was the deal's muscle and had a lot of respect but somebody had had enough.

"These gangs are ruthless – they don't care who you are. If something goes wrong then someone has to pay."

It has also been claimed Mr Welsh was warned by police that his life was "in danger" weeks before he was shot at point-blank range outside his home.

The father was fatally wounded by an assassin who dressed as a jogger outside his flat and pulled out a sawn-off shotgun or similar weapon from under his jacket before firing, it was reported by the Daily Record.

Police and sources have claimed Mr Welsh may have been murdered to send a message to a notorious gangster who is in prison, the report added.

Mr Welsh was killed as he returned home at about 8pm on Wednesday, just days after he gave an ominous interview in which he predicted that "his past is always with him".

He said: "It's always with me but I don't have to atone myself for anybody.

"The things I did, they were wrong, but I understand why I did them, because I had f*** all."

A neighbour who heard the gunshot found Mr Welsh fatally wounded outside his flat but it was only once police arrived that his family learned of his "horrific death".

Detective Superintendent Allan Burton, from the major investigation team, said: "We have a lady who's lost a partner, a child who's lost a dad, a family who have lost a son and brother.

"And so, for their sake, and the sake of everybody else in this community, please come forward and help us find the person responsible for this horrific death.

"Mr Welsh's partner and young daughter were in the house at the time when this took place.

"Thankfully they were unaware – they never heard the bang, if you like."

He added: "When the police arrived, that's when the knowledge and horrors of losing Bradley to them had become real.

"They are devastated. We will support them as best we can, with specially trained family liaison officers, and we'll continue to do that over the coming weeks and months in preparation for any future trial.

"But it's not sinking in just yet, it's going to take time.

"Their whole world has been turned upside down by the actions of an individual last night."

Detectives believe Mr Welsh was shot in a targeted attack by a man who fled the scene on foot.

In a plea for witnesses, Mr Burton called for people who "have got any information, or have heard any rumours or speculation, or know someone who's acting differently after the events of last night and are suspicious of this individual – please come forward".

Welsh starred alongside Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle in T2 Trainspotting, playing gangland figure Mr Doyle.

He also appeared in an episode of Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men in 2008.

The EastEnders star shared an older photo of the pair and tweeted: “So sad to hear the news about Bradley Welsh. A good soul with a massive heart. A massive loss. Rest in Peace my old son.”

Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, tweeted: "Bradley John Welsh, my heart is broken. Goodbye my amazing and beautiful friend.

"Thanks for making me a better person and helping me to see the world in a kinder and wiser way."

Mr Welsh was also involved in charity projects in Edinburgh, including helping young people to stay away from a life of crime through his Holyrood Boxing Gym.

Bunches of flowers, cards, teddy bears and football scarves in the colours of Mr Welsh's beloved Hibernian were laid at the edge of the police cordon by friends and family.

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Murder of Bradley Welsh

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