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Young footballers pay moving tribute to Sheffield police officer killed in Christmas Day crash

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Young footballers in Sheffield fell silent in memory of a much-loved police officer and football referee who was killed in a car crash on Christmas Day.

PC Dave Fields was responding to a call when he was involved in a head-on collision with another car near Shirebrook Valley Nature Reserve in Sheffield, which also claimed the life of Lorraine Stephenson, aged 61.

As well as being a dedicated police officer, the 45-year-old father-of-two was vice-chairman of Sheffield Referees Association, which described him as 'one of the good guys, giving up his time to help anyone'.

Young players from the Sheffield and Hallamshire Girls County Football League, in which he officiated, observed a minute's silence at the weekend in tribute to PC Fields and his huge contribution to the sport.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Tate, who was one of the late officer's colleagues at South Yorkshire Police, tweeted a photo of Crosspool Junior Football Club and Sheffield United under-12 girls players with their heads bowed as they observed the silence before kick-off.

Other youth teams, including Ecclesfield Athletic and Crosspool under-nines, who played on Sunday, also fell silent before their games as a mark of respect.

PC Dave Fields

PC Dave Fields

Simon Hall, chairman of Sheffield Referees Association, coordinated the commemoration.

He said: "Today was such a tough day. Absolute credit to both teams, they were a pleasure to referee. Honoured to have done the game and to have Martin there #footballfamily."

PC Fields was praised following his death as a loving husband and father, and a hugely valued member of the police force.

Tributes were also paid to Ms Stephenson, who was described as a 'lovely lady'.

Ms Stephenson was a passenger in a silver Citroen C3 which was involved in the collision on the A57 with the marked BMW3 series police car driven by PC Fields.

The driver of the Citroen, a 63-year-old man, was taken to hospital in a serious condition following the crash, which is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.