Brave young footballer who died after crash near Norwich will help others say devastated family
PUBLISHED: 15:33 25 May 2012
The devastated family of a footballer who died days after he was seriously injured in a car crash near Norwich said they will “take comfort” from the fact he will help others - including newborn babies - after it emerged his organs had been donated.
Liam Still, 21, a goalkeeper for both Wroxham Reserves FC and Riverside Rovers, was injured after the blue Vauxhall Corsa he was driving left the B1108 Watton Road, at Bawburgh, and collided with a tree.
The accident happened at around 5.15am on Saturday as he was travelling towards Norwich, where he lives.
Mr Still, nicknamed ‘Stillo’, was initially treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) but was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on Sunday where he died in the early hours of yesterday morning.
News of the former Sprowston High School pupil’s death was confirmed by his heartbroken family who issued a short statement which read: “It is with huge sadness and regret that we have to pass on the news that Liam Still lost his battle with the injuries he sustained last Saturday. Liam died peacefully in the early hours of this morning.
“Liam was an organ donor and we take some comfort that others will now benefit from his foresight and thoughtfulness.”
It is believed some of Mr Still’s organs have been successfully donated to three people immediately, while two heart valves are on ice waiting for donors – most likely to be newborn babies.
Mr Still’s family have previously described Mr Still as a man who had “left his mark on so many people in his life” and was “loved and thought so much of, by so many people”.
Those sentiments have been echoed by Martin Roberts, chairman of Wroxham FC which yesterday became a focal point for family and friends to gather to remember the talented youngster and leave tributes of their own including flowers, scarves and shirts.
Mr Roberts said: “We’re all devastated, absolutely devastated. He was such a fine example of a giant gentleman. He was fun loving and kind and caring to everyone.
“It’s such a shame that at the age of 21 his life’s just been ripped away from him. I went up to see Liam in hospital the night he was taken in and it was just shocking, absolutely shocking.
“I’m just absolutely stunned at the moment. He was such a kind and caring gentleman. Not only did he play for the reserves, but he had a few run outs in the first team when Scott Howie wasn’t available and was tremendous. He had a great future ahead of him with this club. It’s just absolutely devastating. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Mr Still’s death has shocked and devastated everyone at Wroxham FC who had been celebrating winning the Eastern Counties League title.
Mr Roberts said the club would want to honour Mr Still’s memory in some way, but needed to speak with the family first before anything was decided.
He said: “We’ve got to talk to his family first. It’s up to his family - we will respect them and do what they want. I spoke to his father when he (Liam) was taken in and asked if there was anything Wroxham Football Club could do to support the family.
“He said the only thing we could do was to keep playing football because that’s what Liam would’ve wanted and I thought that was really nice.”
The death of the popular goalkeeper has prompted a stream of messages from others involved in the local footballing fraternity.
Adam Wengrow, who works at Drayton Insurance Services in Drayton, said: “I spent the last season at Wroxham Football Club, I stepped in for Liam a few times in the reserves and I always heard good things about him and how I had big boots to fill. It is a massive loss and I wish his family all the best.”
Keith Cutmore, secretary of Norwich United Football Club, said: “Everyone connected with Norwich United Football Club sends their condolences to the family and friends of young Liam, our thoughts are with His family at this time.”
Meanwhile, scores of others have also paid their own tributes on social networking sites like Twitter on which friends had been supporting him via hashtag “prayforstillo”.
Emma Holt White (@ILoveHoltNHucks) tweeted: “sad day in Norwich as great young goalkeeper Liam Still passed away. #withusforever a drink in the maids for you mate!!”
Charlie Cullum (@charlieex) tweeted: “RIP Liam Still, such sad news #prayforstillo.”
Norfolk County FA (@NorfolkCountyFA) wrote: “Our thoughts go out to the family of young @The_Yachtsmen reserve team goalkeeper Liam Still who has sadly passed away #RIPStillo.”
Chris Henderson (@chrishendo9) tweeted: “Awful news about the young Wroxham keeper Liam Still who has passed away. #RIPStillo.”
Neil Kenny (@lfc23carragold) tweeted: “sad day for Norwich thoughts are with all at Norwich and Liam Still family. #R.I.P Liam from a Liverpool fan #YNWA.”
GreatYarmouthTownFC (@The_Bloaters) tweeted: “Thoughts go to family, friends and teammates of @The_Yachtsmen keeper Liam Still who died this morning after a car crash #RIPStillo.”
Blue & Gold Trust (@BlueGoldTrust) wrote: “Love and Respect to all around @The_Yachtsmen goalkeeper Liam Still who has sadly passed away. R.I.P from all King’s Lynn fans.”
And Aimee Bird emailed a tribute of her own. She wrote: “I will miss you more than words can describe, my childhood sweetheart. All my thoughts go to Liams family at this tragic time xxxx.”
Norfolk police said the matter will now be passed to the coroner and an inquest will be opened in due course.
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