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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
'Superstar' player's island death
Jon Hiles
Jon Hiles was one of the country's top roller hockey players
A teenager roller hockey "superstar" has died after he was assaulted in a club on the first night of a holiday on the Greek island of Zante.

Jon Hiles, 18, from Cardiff, was punched and fell 6ft (1.8m) from a nightclub stage.

A manslaughter investigation is under way in Greece where Mr Hiles' parents are waiting to bring his body home.

His coach said the teenager was one of the UK's top players who "loved to entertain" and was "hugely popular".

Carl Durham, super league co-ordinator for Wales, said the teenager could always have played in the games' A teams but chose to stay in the B teams "to be with his mates".

He was a superstar, always man of the match, and last year he was the players' player of the year
Foreign Office spokeswoman

As well as being a member of the junior Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, Mr Hiles played roller hockey with both a puck and a ball across three different leagues and had represented Great Britain at competitions in Detroit, USA and in Switzerland.

Although he played in defence, he was the highest scorer in all three leagues.

"(He was) a great person on the ice, off the ice," he said. "This is a total shock to everyone I know. It's a tragic loss both to the sport and to life," Mr Durham said.

"He was a superstar, always man of the match, and last year he was the players' player of the year.

"He was always the joker of the team, that was Jon".

The teenager, who had just completed studying at Coleg Glan Hafren in Cardiff, had only arrived on Zante on Thursday, the same day he was fatally injured in the assault at a club in Laganas.

'Utterly devastated'

Friend Jason Mordecai, 19, described how Mr Hiles fell from the stage after his attacker first urinated on him and then punched him in the face.

Mr Hiles, who was left unconscious, was first taken to a local hospital and then to one in Athens where he died on Sunday.

His parents Denzil and Peryn, girlfriend Clare Ursell and her brother, Josh Ursell, a close friend, were at his bedside.

Jon Hiles pictured centre with some of his Cardiff Capitals teammates
Jon Hiles pictured with some of his Cardiff Capitals teammates

Mr Durham said the teenager's family, which also includes Jess, 14, and brother James, 11, were "utterly devastated".

"Thankfully Jon's parents were able to spend a day with him at the end," he said.

He described how his father would travel to every game that Mr Hiles played in and record the action.

"If he scored, Jon would look up at his dad to check he'd got it on camera. He'd come home and put it on the internet for everyone to see. That was the kind of person he was."

Mr Durham said Mr Hiles' parents wanted his funeral to take place in Cardiff's Llandaff cathedral.

"I know of so many people from across the country who've said they want to attend. It will be packed."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office added: "We are in touch with the local authorities and we can confirm the death has been treated as manslaughter."




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Brent Pope, general manager of the Cardiff Devils, on his shock at Jon Hiles's death



SEE ALSO
Holiday teen dies after 'attack'
24 Jul 07 |  South East Wales

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