Adam Johnson: Ice hockey death police inquiry to 'take some time'

Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Adam Johnson (47)
Nottingham Panthers forward Adam Johnson was playing at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield when he was fatally injured

Police have said their investigation into the death of an ice hockey player during a match "is likely to take some time".

Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson suffered a fatal neck injury from a skate worn by Sheffield Steelers player Matt Petgrave on Saturday evening.

The 29-year-old was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Panthers have invited people to attend a memorial event at their home stadium on Saturday.

Flowers, candles and photographs outside Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena
Flowers, candles, and messages have been left outside Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena, where the Panthers play

South Yorkshire Police said it had been studying footage of the incident, which happened at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield.

A spokesperson said: "Since Saturday, detectives have been carrying out a range of inquiries including reviewing footage, talking to witnesses and seeking the advice and support of highly specialised experts to seek to understand the circumstances surrounding what happened.

"We have also been working closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our investigation.

"As with all unexpected and sudden deaths, it is standard practice for police to investigate the circumstances fully and feed back our findings to HM Coroner.

"Our officers have now left the scene, however due to the complex nature of this tragic and unprecedented incident, it is likely the wider investigation will take some time.

"We continue to encourage the public to avoid speculation, including on social media, while we continue our inquiries and will provide updates when appropriate.

"Our thoughts remain with the loved ones of all those affected."

Nottingham Panthers said the Motorpoint Arena would be open from 17:30 GMT on Saturday for a "gathering" to remember their player.

It said people would be invited onto the ice, which will be carpeted, to sign books of condolence.

The club added it had launched an official fundraising page on Tuesday evening "with the permission of Adam's family".

Money raised will support charitable activities in Johnson's home city of Hibbing, Minnesota.


His Nottingham Panthers team-mate Westin Michaud shared photographs of flowers, candles, photographs and messages outside the arena and said: "Overflowing with love and support.

"The team and families extend heartfelt thanks to everyone."

On Monday night, tributes were paid at the game between Pittsburgh Penguins - where Johnson previously played - and Anaheim Ducks at the PPG Paints Arena.

Before the game, members of both teams stood together on the ice and there were cheers from the crowd in memory of Johnson.

Pittsburgh Penguins players also wore an "AJ 47" label on their helmets.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said: "It's an incredible tragedy. He was a great kid. It was a privilege to be his coach... I remember his first game and his first goal in Minnesota.

"He was a great kid, a great player. And boy, he could really skate."

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