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Fans pay tribute to US ice hockey player Adam Johnson who died last week, aged 29

<i>Jacob King/PA Images/Getty Images</i><br/>People lay flowers and messages in tribute to Nottingham Panthers' ice hockey player Adam Johnson.
Jacob King/PA Images/Getty Images
People lay flowers and messages in tribute to Nottingham Panthers' ice hockey player Adam Johnson.

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — Fans gathered at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England on Saturday to pay tribute to Adam Johnson, the American ice hockey player who died last week while playing for the Nottingham Panthers.

Outside the stadium, fans laid a colorful sea of flowers and, inside, were invited to sign books of condolence on the carpeted ice, the club said in a statement.

A two-minute silence in memory of Johnson was held at 8:20pm local time while the club said that local mental health charities were also present “for those who want to have a conversation.”

During the second period of the Panthers’ game against the Sheffield Steelers on October 28, Johnson appeared to suffer a serious injury after a collision with a Steelers player.

Spectators were asked to leave the Utilita Arena in Sheffield and the match was immediately suspended, with the Panthers confirming the following day that Johnson had died “following a freak accident at the game.” He was 29.

In an online obituary, Johnson’s family remembered him as a “thoughtful, patient and genuinely authentic” person who “took pleasure in the small, everyday things.”

Nottingham Panthers have also launched the “Love for Hibbing and Hockey Memorial Fund” in Johnson’s memory which will support local charities as selected by his family in their home town of Hibbing, Minnesota, and has so far raised more than £54,000 ($67,000).

A jersey created in memory of Johnson has “surpassed the highest level of demand ever seen for a hockey jersey in the UK,” the club said, adding that the profits will be donated to the fundraiser.

The Panthers play in England’s top league, the Elite Ice Hockey League, which announced that at all games this weekend there will be a minute’s silence followed by a minute’s applause in memory of Johnson.

A private funeral for Johnson will take place on Sunday in Hibbing before a “Celebration of Life” open to all on Monday, November 6.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Sam Joseph contributed reporting.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

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