BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 5 August, 2002, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Footballer killed by lightning
Lightning strike
The footballer died in a park in Leicester
A 23-year-old football player has been killed by lightning as he came off a pitch to escape a sudden rain shower.

Darren Griffiths, of Leicester, died instantly and two friends were injured as they walked down a tree-lined path at Saffron Lane Recreation Ground.

They heard a distant rumble of thunder before a bolt of lightning threw them to the ground, a friend said.

Lee Elliott, 23, and Carl Smith, 30, recovered from the shock of the blast to find their team-mate had been killed.


He crawled over to Darren and tried to give him CPR but he knew he was dead as soon as he got there

Richard Smith

The three men had just started their first training session of the season with Metro 76 football club on Saturday afternoon when the rain started.

Richard Smith, 37, brother of Carl and secretary of the club, said: "They heard a distant rumble of thunder but it sounded so far away they weren't sheltering or anything.

"They got to the end of the path where the last tree was and my brother said he saw a massive bright light and the floor shook.

"Carl couldn't feel his leg after the lightning, it was white like a sheet of paper and his knee was blue.

'Skilful player'

"He crawled over to Darren and tried to give him CPR but he knew he was dead as soon as he got there."

A park in Leicester where the lightning struck
The three men were sheltering from the rain

The two men who survived the lightning strike were treated at hospital and released.

Richard Smith said Mr Griffiths was a very skilful footballer with a great sense of humour and was liked by everybody.

"We've known him for nine or 10 years, since he was a teenager. He was probably the most skilful player in the club.

A charity football match is being organised to raise money for Mr Griffiths' family and the club is hoping to place a plaque in his memory in the recreation ground.

Mr Griffiths leaves behind a partner, Louise, and two-year-old daughter Leonie.


Click here to go to Leicester
See also:

31 Jul 02 | England
28 Jun 02 | Scotland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes