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12th Apr 2022

Ex-England schoolboy footballer dies after being hit at ‘car meet’

Daniel Brown

former England schoolboy footballer dies

Rest in peace, Sam Harding

Former England schoolboy footballer Sam Harding has died aged 20 after being struck by a vehicle at a “car meet” in Warrington, Cheshire.

Harding was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead following the incident, which happened on Sunday night. Cheshire Police confirmed a 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The central midfielder, from Stockport, played several non-league clubs, including Prescott Cables, Glossop North End, FC United of Manchester, Ashton Athletic and Runcorn Linnets.

He was a student at the University Campus of Football Business and has been described as “an extremely popular student” and a “promising footballer” by the university.

Sergeant Simon Degg insisted that Cheshire Police’s inquiries were in “the early stages”, stating: “We know that there were a large number of people present at the car meet and as part of our investigation we are keen to hear from witnesses.

“The same goes for anyone with any video footage from the event. I’d urge anyone with any information, no matter how small, to get in touch.”

Tributes pour in for Harding

A host of football clubs paid tribute to the 20-year-old, with Ashton Athletic writing: “Ashton Athletic are devastated to hear the news of the passing of 2021-22 first-team player Sam Harding.

“Sam was only at our club for one season and was a huge factor in our improved form since his arrival. He was a quiet, well-mannered young man and he will be sorely missed by everyone at the club. All our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this terrible time. RIP Sam.”

FC United of Manchester academy manager Tom Conroy said Harding was “one of the best academy players we have ever had and that was proven when he was successful in England schoolboy trials, earning caps for his country”.