Rangers Plan Peralta Tribute After Shooting

11 December 2015, 11:57 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Arnold Peralta

Rangers will hold a minute's silence before kick-off this weekend in memory of the club's former midfielder Arnold Peralta after the Honduras international was killed in a shooting in his homeland.

The 26-year-old was found dead in the car park of a shopping centre in the town of La Ceiba, where he lived, according to a statement from the Honduran government's ministry of security.

Peralta played with Rangers for 18 months, making 29 appearances in the 2013-14 Scottish League One title-winning side, but left in January, returning home to play for Club Deportivo Olimpia.

He won 24 caps for his country and played at both the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 World Cup.

The footballer had only recently celebrated the birth of a daughter with his partner.

Rangers said in a statement: "Rangers Football Club is deeply shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news about former player Arnold Peralta.

"Our thoughts go out to Arnold's family and friends at this very difficult time.''

The Ladbrokes Championship club confirmed a minute's silence will be held before Saturday's league meeting with Morton while Mark Warburton's team will don black armbands as a mark of respect.

Kris Boyd, who spent six months playing alongside the midfielder at Rangers, said: "It's just tragic. I don't really know the ins and outs of it, so all I can do is pass on my condolences to his family.

''He was always somebody who would come into training with a smile on his face. He worked hard and did everything to the best of his ability.

"I only knew Arnie for a few months but I knew exactly how he was as a person. The biggest tragedy for me is that there is a partner there now who will have to bring up a child by herself.''

Current Gers striker Nicky Clark posted a picture of himself hugging Peralta on Twitter as well as the following message: ''Horrible news this morning, rip Arnie.''

The Honduran ministry of security said the car park had its own private security and robbery had been ruled out as a motive because the victim had not been stripped of his belongings.

His father Carlos told a news conference he was devastated.

He said: ''This is terrible. They killed my exemplary son. I can't say more more because of the pain I feel.''

Osman Madrid, director of the Honduran national football federation, said: "This is a tragic death that the national sport mourns.''

Peralta's club has also expressed its sympathies online.