Ex-Aston Villa footballer dies after being Tasered by police

Former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson has died after being Tasered by police in Telford.

The incident happened at approximately 1.30am on Monday, after West Mercia police were called over concerns for the safety of an individual.

They said the 48-year-old man was given medical help but was pronounced dead at 3am.

The IPCC has begun an investigation and has said the police officer who tasered Dalian Atkinson was not wearing a body camera.

Neighbours have spoken of their shock at the death of Mr Atkinson, who was a top flight striker in the 1990s.

"I had known him since he was a little boy, he was a famous footballer at one time," said one neighbour.

Mr Atkinson began his career at his career at Ipswich, and played for Sheffield Wednesday and Spanish side Real Sociedad before moving to Aston Villa.

Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town and Aston Villa led tributes to their former striker on Twitter.

Dalian Atkinson was a top flight striker in the 1990s Credit: PA

Aktinson scored more than 20 Premier League goals for Aston Villa between 1991 and 1995 - including winning a vote for goal of the season against Wimbledon in 1992.

He also scored at Wembley in 1994 as Villa beat Manchester United to lift the League Cup.

The footballer went on to play less successfully for teams including Turkish side Fenerbahce and Manchester City before finishing his football career playing in South Korea in 2001.

Former Villa manager Ron Atkinson said he "always had a smile on his face".

Dalian Atkinson was reportedly visiting his father in Telford when he was Tasered. Credit: Joe Giddens / PA Wire

A spokesman for West Mercia police declined to confirm the identity of the man involved in the fatal taser incident.

"West Mercia Police are unable to comment any further as the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as is normal procedure, and will assist the IPCC with their inquiries."

Paula Quinn, who lives in the street where the incident took place, told ITV News the ex-footballer appeared to be "almost staggering" before he was Tasered.

It comes after ex-soldier Spencer Beynon died in June after he was tasered by police in an incident where he stabbed a dog and himself.

Last year police use of Tasers, which are intended as a non-lethal weapon, went up slightly towards the end of 2015 with 10,329 uses by forces in England and Wales, a 2% rise on the previous year.

However, of those, 19% (1,921) were discharges; a decrease of 3% from the previous year.