Adam Johnson: Sheffield coroner calls for compulsory neck guards in ice hockey after tragedy
"In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths"
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The coroner in charge of the inquest into the death of Adam Johnson has called for neck guards in ice hockey to be compulsory. Adam died in hospital on October 28 after a "freak accident" in a match against Sheffield Steelers, in which his neck was cut by another player’s skate.
Sheffield coroner Tanya Rawkden said she believes action should be taken to prevent future deaths, in a report sent to Ice Hockey UK, English Ice Hockey, and the International Ice Hockey Federation.
She said: "In due course the inquest will consider whether the use of a neck guard or protector could have prevented Mr Johnson's death.
"At this stage in my investigation however, I am sufficiently concerned that deaths may occur in the future if neck guards or protectors are not worn.
"In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you have the power to take such action."
The UK's top ice hockey division, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), said last week it would not make neck guards compulsory but would "strongly encourage" them to be worn.
The English Ice Hockey Association said it would make neck guards mandatory from 2024, but that does not affect the EIHL.
The inquest was opened and adjourned on Friday last week.