Former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson has died after being tasered to death in the street by police near his home in Telford, Shropshire.
West Mercia police confirmed that a 48-year-old man had died after being shot with a Taser by police officers. It is understood the man is Atkinson, who also played for Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town.
Atkinson was reportedly “very agitated” shortly before he was shot three times by officers outside his family home.
Officers were called to the ex-striker’s home in at around 1.30am on Monday 15 August, amid concerns “for the safety of an individual”.
Atkinson who made 85 league appearances for Villa, was given medical treatment after being stunned but died around 90 minutes later.
He played for eight other clubs during his career, including Ispwich Town and Sheffield Wednesday, and turned out for England’s B team.
Police said in a statement: “West Mercia Police can confirm that officers responded to a report for the concern for the safety of an individual at approximately 1.30am this morning at an address in Telford.
“Upon arrival Taser was deployed and a 48-year-old man, who subsequently received medical attention, was pronounced dead at approximately 3am.
“West Mercia Police are unable to comment any further as the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as is normal procedure, and will assist the IPCC with their inquiries”.
Forensic officers were at the scene on Monday and Meadow Close remained cordoned off.
Commenting on the ex-footballer’s character, Tina Bothwell said: “He was loving, caring and got on with everybody in the street. He always got on with the kids because they absolutely loved his car.”
Another resident, Paula Quinn, said Atkinson appeared to be “almost staggering” in the street before he was Tasered. She claimed Atkinson went down “like a lead balloon” after being hit by the Taser.
Former teammates and fellow professionals expressed their shock and sorrow, including the former Villa and Australia goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.
Bosnich wrote, “RIP Dalian Atkinson, at his best one of the very best.xmb”.