Adam Johnson: Sheffield Steelers players to return 'in their own time' after ice hockey death

credit must read: PANTHERs IMAGES
Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson died after being injured in their match against Sheffield Steelers. Credit: Panthers Images

Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team say their players and staff will return to work "in their own time" following the death of Adam Johnson.

Nottingham Panthers player Johnson, 29, died after his neck was cut by a skate worn by one of the Steelers team in a collision when the sides faced each other in Sheffield on Saturday, 28 October. He died the following day.

Both clubs' fixtures have been suspended following the incident.

In a statement on Friday, the Steelers said: "Nothing could have mentally or emotionally prepared us for what happened during that game".

The club said the safety and wellbeing of players and coaching staff was "our main priority during this incredibly difficult time".

Flowers and messages left in tribute to Nottingham Panthers’ ice hockey player Adam Johnson outside the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham Credit: Jacob King/PA

It added: "All of them have access to professional mental health support to help them come to terms with the tragic events of last weekend.  Each will return to the arena in their own time, and we are giving them all our full support." 

Other fixtures in the Elite Ice Hockey League will resume this weekend, but the Panthers and the Steelers will not play.

Vigils are expected to take place in both Sheffield and Nottingham on Saturday.

An inquest into Johnson's death opened in Sheffield on Friday.

Meanwhile South Yorkshire Police is investigating the incident, but has said its enquiries are "complex" and will take some time.The Steelers said a minute's applause would be held for Johnson would when they return to action.

Their statement added: "The Steelers are more than an ice hockey club, we are a community, and we want everyone involved with the club to know that we support them and are there for them in any way we can be."

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