(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In a tragic incident during a competitive ice hockey match in Sheffield, England, Minnesota-born professional player Adam Johnson died after an opponent’s skate slashed his neck, as reported by Sky News.
The Nottingham Panthers, Johnson’s team, expressed their profound sorrow over the loss, stating that Johnson “tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night.”
The team added that they were “truly devastated” and “heartbroken,” extending their “thoughts and condolences to Adam’s family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time.”
The unfortunate event took place during the Challenge Cup match against the Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, located roughly 165 miles north of London.
Recounting the incident, Christian Bennett, a journalist for The Guardian who was present at the match, said, “Two players … bumped into each other. The Sheffield player clearly got knocked off his feet and his skate went up and slit [Johnson’s] throat.” He added, “I’ve never seen that amount of blood come out of anyone at any sort of pace. It is one of the grimmest things I’ve ever seen at a sports event.”
After the incident, Johnson tried to continue skating but soon fell. The traumatic event left many of the 8,000 spectators, including children, in tears.
Players from both teams immediately gathered around Johnson. As medical treatment was administered, protective screens were placed around him, according to the BBC. Johnson was later taken to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.
Following the tragic event, the match was immediately halted. The Elite Ice Hockey League acknowledged the incident, postponed upcoming games, and directed fans to avail of mental health support services from the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS).
In a display of solidarity, the Sheffield Steelers expressed, “Everyone at the Steelers send [sic] their condolences to Adam Johnson’s partner, family & teammates.” Johnson’s former teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins based in Pennsylvania and Sweden’s Malmö Redhawks, also mourned the loss.
Concluding their statement, the Nottingham Panthers reflected, “Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him. The Club will miss him dearly and will never ever forget him.”