LONDON: Dalian Atkinson, former England B forward has died after being shot with a Taser by police in Telford, in the British Midlands.

A statement from West Mercia police in Shropshire said officers responded to a report of concern for the safety of a 48-year-old man in the early hours in Telford. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

In a 16-year career, the winger or striker played for Aston Villa, Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday. He is best remembered for scoring the Match of the Day goal of the season in the 1992-93 campaign – the inaugural Premier League season.

Then with Aston Villa, he dribbled from inside his own half before chipping the Wimbledon keeper from the edge of the penalty area.

As in all such incidents, the death has been referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Clubs’ tributes

Paula Quinn, a neighbour,said: “I saw two police officers shouting at the gentleman and he sort of was stumbling towards them and the police officers warned him they would Taser him, but he just seemed a bit, perhaps, inebriated.

“He continued to step forward once or twice – non-threatening – and as the Taser hit him in the stomach he just went ‘doof’, down like a lead balloon.”

Ipswich Town, where the footballer started his career, tweeted his death was “terribly sad news”.

Aston Villa, for whom the striker scored in the club’s 3-1 defeat of Manchester United in the 1994 League Cup final, tweeted: “RIP Dalian Atkinson. You’ll never be forgotten!”

Atkinson started his career at Ipswich Town, before moving to Sheffield Wednesday, Real Sociedad, Aston Villa and Turkey’s Fenerbahce.

In a statement, the IPCC said “a full and thorough investigation” was under way.

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