Eight-time winners Nottingham Panthers withdraw from Challenge Cup after Adam Johnson death

Adam Johnson tribute at Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
Tribute to Adam Johnson at the Panthers' home, Nottingham Motorpoint Arena. Credit: PA Images

The Nottingham Panthers have withdrawn from this season's Challenge Cup, stating they "will take no further part in the competition".

The team is still reeling from the loss of player Adam Johnson. The 29-year-old American died in October after a "freak accident" during a game against the Sheffield Steelers.

The Panthers are the Challenge Cup's most successful team, having won eight times since the competition launched in 1997.

The team announced that supporters who had bought tickets for their matches against Manchester Storm on Sunday 29 October and Saturday 18 November will be refunded.

Adam Johnson, who wore the number 47 jersey, died in a "freak accident" during a match. Credit: PATHERS IMAGES

Their away game against the Sheffield Steelers on Saturday 25 November has also been cancelled.

In a statement, the team said: "We’d like to thank fans again for their support at this difficult time and will provide a fresh update about fixtures in the coming days, including details about the postponed league games and rearranged dates."

Adam Johnson's family has previously released an emotional tribute to the "eternally missed" sports star, noting that he "loved the outdoors and the simple things in life", including fishing, golfing, reading and having coffees with his fiancée, Ryan Wolfe.

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

"Adam loved to live a slower life and took pleasure in the small, everyday things," it read, continuing: "Adam had a quiet confidence about him and was never boastful.

"He was never looking to be the centre of attention, but rather he preferred to listen to others and do what he could to make them feel important.

"He was many things to many people, but to those who were lucky enough to be loved by Adam knew he was thoughtful, patient and genuinely authentic."

"His loving and quiet demeanour will be eternally missed."

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