An ice hockey star who is believed to have taken a blade to his throat in a horrific injury during a game has died aged 29, his family have said.
Adam Johnson’s injury was so horrific it forced the game to be abandoned and left traumatised fans in tears.
The American athlete is believed to have taken an ice hockey blade to the neck in a freak accident at the match between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers at Utilita Arena Sheffield this evening.
His mother Kari took to social media to share her heartbreak this morning – telling friends: ‘I lost half of my heart today.’
One witness told MailOnline that Mr Johnson tried to skate back to his team after the injury to his throat but collapsed before he made it, prompting panicked scenes as players and medics rushed out to help the stricken star.
Around 8,000 fans saw the nightmare collision before the game was quickly stopped and screens were brought onto the pitch to protect the players involved. The match has since been abandoned.
Adam Johnson’s mother Kari took to social media to share her heartbreak this morning – telling friends: ‘I lost half of my heart today’
Adam Johnson (pictured) suffered an horrific injury during a nightmare tackle that left spectators horrified
The incident happened at Utilita Arena Sheffield (pictured) and is believed to have been witnessed by around 8,000 fans
Horrified fans have taken to social media to share their horror at the accident
Yorkshire Ambulance Service said they were called at around 8.21pm before sending two ambulances and a critical care paramedic – with one man taken to hospital.
Devastated spectators who witnessed the accident were left in ‘tears’ and hugging one another, with one saying ‘they’ll never get over’ what they saw. ‘It was horrible to see. People were crying and passing out,’ another shocked witness added.
The freak accident appeared to have been caused by a Sheffield Steelers’ player as he tried to tackle another one of Mr Johnson’s teammates.
Footage shows Mr Johnson being struck in the neck by a skate before he then collapses. Bleeding heavily, the hockey star manages to get to his feet as teammates scrambled to help him.
Shocked fans were left traumatised by the incident, with many taking to social media to share their horror at the accident.
One person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘Stuff of nightmares at the panthers game tonight, praying for Adam Johnson.’
Another wrote on Facebook: ‘My 17-year-old has come home in bits, he said he can’t un-see what he’s seen tonight. He’s white as a sheet. My thoughts and prayers are with the teams involved.’
Someone else shared: ‘My son and I were there, watching play intensely. We just keep hugging each other. A lot of upset folk, so I know we’re not alone.’
Another wrote on X: ‘That was undoubtedly the worst thing I’ve ever seen happen, I’m so sorry. We’re all absolutely sick with worry, praying for a miracle.’
A fifth added: ‘Really really hope he’s okay and news of his recovery is posted soon. Thoughts and prayers to him and his family at this very anxious time.’
Adam Johnson (pictured) is believed to have taken an ice hockey blade to the neck during the match between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers
The freak accident appeared to have been caused by a Sheffield Steelers’ player as he tried to tackle another one of Mr Johnson’s teammates
One witness told MailOnline that Mr Johnson tried to skate back to his team after the injury to his throat but collapsed before he made it
Fans were asked to leave the building due a ‘major medical emergency’
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Ambulance Service told MailOnline: ‘We were called at 8:21 this evening to the Sheffield Steeler’s game at Sheffield arena. We attended a male and sent two ambulances and a critical care paramedic, and we sent one patient to hospital.’
Nottingham Panthers posted on X: ‘Players are returning to the locker rooms.’
The account then provided an update that: ‘Fans have been asked to leave the building due to a major medical emergency’
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, which is the Panther’s home ground, later posted on X: ‘Our heartfelt thoughts go out to Adam Johnson, his loved ones, all the Panthers players, staff, fans and the whole ice hockey community, following his horrific injury this evening.’
MailOnline has contacted Nottingham Panthers and South Yorkshire Police for comment.
American Mr Johnson previously played for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: ‘At 8.21pm yesterday we were called to Sheffield Arena, to the hockey match, to an incident on the ice.
‘We sent two ambulances and a critical care paramedic and then we conveyed a patient to hospital.’