Popular Lancashire football coach stabbed to death in New York

Mike Jones, from Tarleton, Lancashire, was stabbed to death in New York in the early hours of Sunday.
Mike Jones, from Tarleton, Lancashire, was stabbed to death in New York in the early hours of Sunday. Photo: New York Red Bulls

Mr Jones, a youth team coach for the New York Red Bulls, was found with a severed ear and stab wounds to his torso and neck near 25 West 14th Street in the city's Greenwich Village, shortly before 4.30am on Sunday.

Officers responding to a 911 call found Mr Jones and he was taken to the city's Bellevue Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

Police believe Mr Jones knew the man suspected to have stabbed him, as they were captured on CCTV walking together. Releasing separate footage of the man walking away moments after the murder, NYPD described the suspect as a male in his 20s, with a dark ponytail.

Mr Jones is believed to have spent time with his girlfriend and her female friend earlier that evening. According to New York Post sources, he texted and phoned his girlfriend several times that night, including a call to her phone at at 4.17am, moments before his death.

The New York Red Bulls is one of the most prominent teams in US Major League soccer. Mr Jones coached children aged from seven to 13 for its youth training programme, The New York Times reported.

We are aware of this tragedy and on behalf of the entire organisation, want to send our most heartfelt condolences to Michael's family, friends and loved ones.

He was a tremendous individual, a fantastic coach who loved soccer and a terrific friend for many of us.

This is truly a sad day for our soccer community and we will do our utmost to help authorities in their investigation of this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family at this time.

– New York Red Bulls spokesman

Mr Jones' family was said to be "in a state of shock" and a Foreign Office spokesman confirmed it was providing consular assistance.

John Parkinson, treasurer of Tarleton Corinthians who Mr Jones used to play for, said everyone knew the former Edge Hill University student as "Jonesy".

We are trying to come to terms with it. He was a genuine lad, no trouble. He was not a lad who would look for trouble or anything like that. He is not the sort of lad that would be up to no good...it's a big shock to us. We are stunned.

– John Parkinson, treasurer of Tarleton Corinthians

As well as tributes from his school PE teacher and from his university, former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill, who is currently playing for the New York Red Bulls, paid his respects to Mr Jones on Twitter:

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So sad to hear the news about Mike Jones a coach @newyorkredbulls , my thoughts are with his family and friends