Ice hockey player Adam Johnson dies in 'freak accident' after neck slashed by skate in Sheffield

A professional ice hockey player has died in a "freak accident" after he was slashed in the neck during a game.

Nottingham Panthers has confirmed Adam Johnson, 29, died during the team's derby clash against Sheffield Steelers.

The game at Sheffield Arena was abandoned shortly after the incident.

In a statement, the club said: "Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him. The club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him.

The team added: "The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam's family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time.

"Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam's passing."

A statement from the Elite Ice Hockey League said all games on Sunday have been postponed.

More than 8,000 fans were inside the arena in Sheffield when the incident took place, and were all asked to leave in the aftermath.

Players from both teams formed a protective ring around Johnson as he received treatment on the ice before screens were put up, Sky Sports News reported.

South Yorkshire Police said it was called to the arena at about 8.25pm on Saturday night to reports a player had been seriously injured, and officers remained on the scene into Sunday.

Before joining Nottingham Panthers, the Minnesota-born Johnson played in Pennsylvania for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Sweden for the Malmo Redhawks.

He also played in California for Ontario Reign and in Germany for Augsburger Panther.

Pittsburgh Penguins said it joined "the entire hockey world in mourning the loss of Adam Johnson, whose life tragically ended far too soon.

"We offer our deepest condolences to Adam's family and friends, as well as all of Adam's past and present teammates and coaches. Adam will always be a part of the Penguins family. It was our honour to watch him fulfil his dream of playing in the National Hockey League.