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Man arrested over death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson during match rebailed


A man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the mid-match death of an ice hockey player has been rebailed, police have said.

Nottingham Panthers’ Adam Johnson died in October last year after being hit in the neck by an opposition player’s skate during a match at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.

The game was abandoned after the incident and the 8,000-strong crowd was asked to leave as Mr Johnson, 29, received medical attention. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

A man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter on 14 November and subsequently bailed by South Yorkshire Police.

On Friday, he was rebailed until 25 April 2024, a statement said.

The force said its “thoughts remain with Adam’s family at this time”.

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The Nottingham Panthers released a tribute video for Adam Johnson

Sheffield’s senior coroner Tanyka Rawden suspended her investigation into Mr Johnson’s death last month, while the police inquiry took its course.

The opening of the inquest proved brief but it later emerged Ms Rawden had issued a Prevention of Future Deaths Report to Ice Hockey UK and the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) about the use of neck guards in the sport.

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Lit candles among the flowers and messages left in tribute to Nottingham Panthers' ice hockey player Adam Johnson outside the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, the home of the Panthers. Mr Johnson died after an accident during a Challenge Cup match with Sheffield Steelers on Saturday night. Picture date: Monday October 30, 2023.
Image:
Flowers for Adam Johnson left outside the Panthers’ arena in the wake of his death. Pic: PA

In the report, she said she was “sufficiently concerned that deaths may occur in the future if neck guards or protectors are not worn” and gave ice hockey’s UK governing bodies 56 days to say what action has – or hasn’t – been taken.

The EIHA has said neck guards will be mandatory in its matches from 2024 but the Elite League – which Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers are in – is not under its control.

The league has said it will not make neck guards compulsory, but “strongly encourages” players and officials to wear them.


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