UPDATE: Former Sheffield Wednesday player seen 'staggering' in street before being shot by police Taser

Dalian Atkinson
Dalian Atkinson
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Former Sheffield Wednesday player Dalian Atkinson has died after being shot by a police Taser.

The 48-year-old striker, who played alongside David Hirst during the 1989-90 season, suffered a heart attack after police officers deployed a Taser at a house in Telford, Shropshire, this morning.

West Mercia Police said officers were called to the property in the early hours amid 'concerns for the safety of an individual'.

The Taser was deployed and medical treatment was given to the ex-Owl but he died around 90 minutes later.

Neighbours said the ex-footballer was visiting his elderly father's house at the time of the incident.

They said the retired star, who drove a Porsche, was well-known among residents and made frequent visits to the short cul-de-sac.

Resident Paula Quinn said the footballer appeared to be 'almost staggering' in the street before he was Tasered.

She said the ex-Owl went down 'like a lead balloon' after being shot.

"I heard shouting and something smashing, which is what alerted me to look out of the window," she said.

"I am feeling a bit sick knowing that the poor lad has passed. I don't care what anybody has done. Nobody deserves to die as a result of something like that."

Speaking at a police cordon residents Matthew and Tina Bothwell said they were shocked at the death.

Mr Bothwell, 43, said: "Every time he would come he would have crowds around him. It's close-knit community.

"I just can't bear to think what his family are going through."

Mrs Bothwell added: "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."

A West Mercia Police spokesman said: " 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 as is normal procedure, and will assist the IPCC with their inquiries."

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said : "We were called by West Mercia Police to an address in Meadow Close in the Trench area of Telford at about 1.45am this morning.

"An ambulance was dispatched and upon arrival found a man who had been Tasered.

"As he was being conveyed to Princess Royal Hospital, his condition deteriorated and he went into cardiac arrest.

"Despite the efforts of the crew and hospital staff, it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at hospital, shortly after arrival."

Atkinson made 38 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday, scoring 15 goals across all competitions.

He went on to score 38 goals for Aston Villa and his career highlight came in 1994 when he scored in the League Cup final win over Manchester United.

Atkinson started his career at Ipswich as an apprentice before moving to Sheffield Wednesday .

He moved Real Sociedad, where he scored 12 times before a £1.6m move to Aston Villa in 1991, where he spent four years.

He joined Fenerbahce in Turkey in 1995 and ended his career playing in South Korea in 2001.

Atkinson had started working as a football agent.

A Sheffield Wednesday spokesman said: "Sheffield Wednesday are saddened to learn of the passing of the club’s former striker Dalian Atkinson.

"Dalian, 48, died in the early hours of Monday morning.

"The Shrewsbury product joined the Owls in June 1989 for £450,000 from Ipswich Town and went on to form a prolific partnership in his single season at Hillsborough alongside David Hirst, scoring 15 goals in all competitions.

"Alas, Wednesday were relegated on the final day of the 1989/90 campaign and the coveted hitman went on to join Spanish side Real Sociedad for £1.75m.

"Widely regarded as one of the most exciting football talents to emerge during the mid-1980s to early 1990s, Dalian also posted international honours with the England ‘B’ side.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Dalian at this extremely difficult time."