Ice hockey player arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after player dies in 'freak accident'

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson previously played for the Pittsburgh Penguins
Getty Images
Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 14/11/2023

- 16:36

Updated: 14/11/2023

- 20:11

Adam Johnson died after sustaining a serious injury during an ice hockey clash between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers

A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the death of ice hockey star Adam Johnson.

Johnson, 29, died as a result of a fatal neck injury sustained on October 28.

The skate injury occurred during an ice hockey match between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said: "Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances.

Adam JohnsonTributes have flooded in for Adam Johnson after his death at the age of 29GETTY

"We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.

"Adam's death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world.

"We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process.

"Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as enquiries continue."

Adam Johnson death

Adam Johnson died while playing ice hockey for the Nottingham Panthers


An inquest in Johnson's death is yet to report back after being opened and adjourned on November 3.

However, Sheffield’s senior coroner, Tanyka Rawden, has already urged ice hockey's governing bodies to make urgent reforms to protect player safety.

Rawden issued a Prevention of Future Deaths Report to Ice Hockey UK and the English Ice Hockey Association which called on the sport to change it requirements on sporting equipment.

She said she was "sufficiently concerned that deaths may occur in the future if neck guards or protectors are not worn".

Ice Hockey UK and the English Ice Hockey Association have been given 56 days to reply outlining new measures or to explain why they have not taken action.

The English Ice Hockey Association has already said it will be mandatory to wear a neck guard during "all on-ice activities" from the start of 2024.

However, the Elite Ice Hockey League, in which the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers compete, has said it will not make the use of neck guards mandatory.

Instead it promised to “strongly encourage” players and officials to wear them following the tragedy.

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