The fiancée of a star hockey player who died when his throat was slashed as he played a game has paid tribute to her “sweet angel”.

Emotional Ryan Wolfe said she would miss Adam Johnson, 29, “forever” and “always” following his death on Saturday (Oct 28) in a ‘freak accident’.

The Nottingham Panthers player, who previously starred in the NHL, suffered the fatal injury to his neck during a collision with Sheffield Steelers’ Matt Petgrave.

Shocking footage posted on social media showed the sportsman being helped up off the ice at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena following the clash with blood staining his shirt.

He received emergency medical care and was then rushed to hospital but later died from his wounds.

Releasing her emotional tribute to Adam on Instagram today (Mon), student Ryan said: “My sweet sweet Angel. I’ll miss you forever and love you always.”

It’s believed the couple had become engaged over the summer and were living together in the UK before the terrible tragedy this weekend.

Adam’s Mum, Kari Johnson, also released her own tribute on Facebook following his death, writing: “I lost half of my heart today. Love you always Munch.”

Further tributes poured in following Adam’s passing, with his team releasing a statement saying they have been left ‘heartbroken’.

The club said: “The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam’s family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time.

“Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam’s passing.

“Our thoughts are also with the fans and staff of both clubs, especially those who were attended or were following the game, who will be devastated following today’s news.

“The Panthers would like to thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most testing of circumstances.

“Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him.

“The Club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him.”

Around 8,000 spectators witnessed the accident, before the game was stopped and screens erected to protect players’ privacy.

Fans who attended the game have begun sharing their shellshocked tributes online.

One fan posted to Facebook: “Last night, we were in the arena and witnessed the horrific accident on the ice.

“When we were all finally told to leave, my legs were shaking and about to give. I was hyperventilating – everything was a blur.

“My thoughts are with Adam Johnson, his family and the Nottingham Panthers.”

Another spectator said, “I wouldn’t wish what we witnessed last night, and what Adam Johnson’s family, friends and colleagues must be going through right now, upon my worst enemy.

“All of the Steelers and Panthers acted so quickly, most of all, our Steelers doctor, who was on that ice within a matter of seconds.

“It was a tragic accident. Rest in paradise Adam Johnson, number 47.”

A third said: “My 17-year-old has come home in bits, he said he can’t un-see what he’s seen tonight.

“He’s white as a sheet. My thoughts and prayers are with the teams involved.”

South Yorkshire Police released a public statement after the incident saying they were carrying out inquiries.

Their spokesperson said: “We were called at 8.25pm yesterday (28 October) to reports that a player had been seriously injured during a Sheffield Steelers versus Nottingham Panthers game at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield.

“Officers attended the scene alongside other emergency services and one man, aged in his 20s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Sadly, he was later pronounced deceased at hospital.

“Our officers remain at the scene carrying out enquiries today (29 October) and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remain ongoing.”

The force has been asked for further comment.

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