Adam Johnson: Kent ice hockey team wear neck guards after player's death

Neck guards are being worn by players at an ice hockey club in Kent following the death of a player.

Adam Johnson of Nottingham Panthers was fatally hit in the neck by a skate during a match on 28 October.

Invicta Dynamos, based in Gillingham, said its players now wear neck guards during matches and training sessions.

Owner Sarah Parrish said: "Our team have been wearing them from the first training session after the incident and ever since."

Johnson was taken to hospital after the incident against the Sheffield Steelers, where he was pronounced dead.

A post-mortem examination confirmed the 29-year-old, originally from Minnesota in the US, had died as a result of a fatal neck injury.

The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) will make neck guards mandatory from 2024 onwards, but Ms Parrish said the club had decided to introduce them with immediate effect.

"We have worked quickly and closely as a management team to ensure we have the correct and appropriate player safety measures in place to do all we can to absolutely ensure this situation does not ever happen again," she said.

Meanwhile, fellow Kent-based ice hockey team Invicta Mustangs held a minute's silence in Adam's memory.

Head coach Ali Rodger said: "We support the decision on the wearing of neck guards, and the possibility of any other protection for players that the National Ice Hockey League may bring in the future.

"As a team, we are adhering to this and many of the players are already training and playing with neck guards."

Hundreds gathered to pay tribute to Johnson in Nottingham

Ms Parrish said the Dynamos would also review player safety processes, equipment checks and game day procedures to ensure the club was well equipped to deal with any potential medical emergencies in the future.

A man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over Adam Johnson's death has since been released on police bail.

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