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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK
Wealthy fan and son die in crash
Phillip Carter
Phillip Carter was described as an inspirational leader by colleagues
A millionaire businessman and his son flying back from a European cup football match have died in a helicopter crash.

Phillip Carter, his son Andrew, 17, close friend Jonathan Waller, and pilot Stephen Holdich were in the Twin Squirrel aircraft.

Police confirmed four bodies were found in the wreckage just a mile from Mr Carter's home.

The aircraft was found virtually intact at Wansford, near Peterborough, Cambs.

The bodies are expected to be removed from the crash scene overnight and transferred to a hospital in Cambridgeshire where they will be formally identified and post-mortem examinations carried out.

Founder of training firm Carter & Carter
The company is now worth more than 500m
Held shares worth 100m in Carter & Carter
The company employs more than 500 people
One of eight honorary vice presidents of Chelsea FC

Mr Carter, his son and Mr Waller were reported missing after failing to return from watching Chelsea play Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final game at Anfield.

Mr Carter is founder of firm Carter & Carter, and one of eight honorary vice presidents of Chelsea Football Club.

His firm specialises in vocational training, and employs more than 500 people in Nottingham.

In a statement Carter and Carter Group Plc said: "Our thoughts and condolences are with Phillip's wife, Judith, daughter Natalya and the family and friends of all those involved in this tragic accident."

Stephen Holdich
Stephen Holdich had flown the businessman more than 70 times

Colleagues at the company's Nottinghamshire base described the UK Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 as an "inspirational leader".

Andrew Carter, 17, went to Stamford School, in Stamford, Lincolnshire where he was in his second year of A-levels.

The helicopter was piloted by Stephen Holdich, co-owner of operating company Atlas Helicopters, of Hampshire, a company spokeswoman said.

Mr Holdich, 49, who lived in Chidham, West Sussex, but was originally from Peterborough, had flown Mr Carter on more than 70 occasions over the past four years, his company said.

'Looking forward to match'

Jonathan Waller, 42, a debt collector from Market Deeping, Lincolnshire, was also on board the aircraft.

The party had been expected back at Mr Carter's house at about midnight on Tuesday.

The group was travelling in a Twin Squirrel helicopter
The group was travelling in a Twin Squirrel helicopter

The aircraft took off from John Lennon Airport, Merseyside, at 2300 BST on Tuesday and the last contact was made with it just under two hours later.

The helicopter had been due to land in Thornhaugh, west of Peterborough, where Mr Carter lives.

According to Civil Aviation Authority records, he is the joint owner of a twin-engined helicopter that is registered to his home address.

The incident has revived memories of a 1996 crash which killed Chelsea's vice-chairman Matthew Harding and four other men as they returned from a Bolton Wanderers match.

The helipcoter crashed in dense woodland near the family's home


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