Number 47 will never be worn again by another member of the EIHL’s Nottingham Panthers.
The Panthers have retired No. 47 in honour of the late Adam Johnson, who wore it up until his tragic death a few weeks ago.
Johnson, 29, died on Oct. 28 after his neck was sliced by an opponent's skate blade during a game between the Panthers and Sheffield Steelers. Initially, Johnson’s death was deemed a fluke accident — with Panthers players calling for a stop to the hatred being spewed at Steelers player Matt Petgrave — but the South Yorkshire Police arrested the opposing player on suspicion of manslaughter on Tuesday.
Nottingham hosted an Adam Johnson Memorial Game on Saturday against the Manchester Storm. At the 47th minute of the contest, the game paused and both teams paid homage to Johnson by tapping their sticks on the ice as the crowd gave a roaring standing ovation.
🖤💛 The tribute to Adam Johnson just ahead of face-off this evening 🖤💛 pic.twitter.com/ZTR0OpbQGT
— The Nottingham Panthers (@PanthersIHC) November 18, 2023
Johnson’s death has led to the widespread use of neck protectors in hockey leagues worldwide. In fact, a neck protector likely saved the life of an Eastern Ontario youth player this past week.
Before arriving in England, Johnson played five seasons of pro hockey in North America, suiting up for 13 NHL games and another 257 AHL contests. Johnson scored his lone NHL goal as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Prior to the Penguins inking him as an undrafted free agent, Johnson played two seasons of NCAA hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth — where he tallied 55 points in 81 games.