Tributes paid to 'funny and talented' man Samuel Wilson killed in Derbyshire van incident

The incident happened near Market Place in Ilkeston Credit: Ashley Kirk

Tributes have been paid to a "kind, loving, funny and talented" man who died after being struck by a van in Derbyshire.

Samuel Wilson, 26, was hit by the vehicle in Market Place, Ilkeston, just after 2am on Saturday.

Paramedics tried to save him but he died at the scene, while two men taken to hospital with injuries are recovering at home.

A 27-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder soon after the crash remains in custody.

Mr Wilson’s sister said there are “no words” to describe the family’s loss on a JustGiving page which has raised more than £7,000.

She said: "Our hearts will forever be broken, and there are no words to describe the huge hole it has left in all of our hearts."

'We've not just lose a player, we've lost a friend, a brother, a son, a boyfriend'

Football club Curzon AFC posted a tribute on Facebook, saying: “It’s with a very heavy heart that we have to share the news that our kind, loving, funny, talented Number 12 and last seasons player of the season Sam Wilson, tragically lost his life early hours this morning.

“We’ve not just lost a player, we’ve lost a friend, a brother, a son, a boyfriend and all round one of life’s good guys, his impact on all of our lives will never be forgotten!

“Sam we love you and we will all miss you. Until we meet again keep looking down on us with that infectious smile. Love you mate from all at Afc curzon.”

His coach said on Facebook earlier: “It’s with a broken heart that I am writing this.

“I first met Sam at Long Eaton Utd and I knew when I first saw him play that he was good, and two days after he turned 16 he made his debut for me in Long Eaton Utd Reserves and proved he was good enough to play at that level by scoring.

“He always played with a smile on his face was never greedy, always wanting to set others up instead of having a go himself.

“I have lost a very good footballer, a great lad and a good mate.

“Until I can be your football manager again Sam and we meet again on the heavenly pitch R.I.P you will be truly missed.”

Detectives said Mr Wilson’s family have asked for privacy while they “continue to come to terms with their loss”.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Croome, of Derbyshire Constabulary, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have a team of officers working to establish the events of that night, which has included viewing CCTV footage from around the Market Place that night.

“I would like to thank all those who have come forward and spoken to us as part of our inquiries so far.

“We would particularly like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed or have any information about reports of an altercation at the Market Inn shortly before the incident.

“Any information you have could be vital to our investigation.”

A large crime scene was in place after the collision, but the area reopened on Saturday evening.

Police patrols in the area continue and detectives have asked anyone with concerns to speak to them.

Contact the force on its website or on 101 or social media quoting reference number 23*771155.

To remain anonymous, contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online.

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