The mother of the ice hockey star who died after his throat was slashed during a match has spoken out.
Adam Johnson suffered a freak accident during his team's match against the Sheffield Steelers at the Utilita Arena on Saturday night (28 October).
Thousands of fans crammed into the arena to watch the Steelers take on the Nottingham Panthers.
During play, Johnson's throat was sliced open in front of horrified players, staff and fans.
A witness told the Daily Mail that the player tried to skate back to his teammates after the incident but collapsed before he could make it.
Witnesses described how players from both teams formed a ring around Johnson after he suffered the fatal injury.
The game was promptly paused in the 35th minute as medics rushed in to tend to the 29-year-old behind the privacy of screens on the ice.
He was taken to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital for treatment, however he couldn't be saved.
Johnson's devastated mother Kari has broken her silence on the tragic accident and said: "I lost half of my heart tonight."
All ice hockey games on Sunday were paused out of respect for Johnson.
Johnson was born in Minnesota and made a name for himself at the Pittsburgh Penguins in North America's National Hockey League (NHL).
He then played in Sweden for the Malmo Redhawks, before joining Canada's Ontario Reign and Germany's Augsburger Panther.
He then switched to the UK's Nottingham Panthers in August.
His team said in a statement: "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.
"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."
They also sent their condolences to the fans who were present at the match who had to see the horrifying moment.
The hashtag 'sticksoutfor47' has gone viral in the wake of Johnson's death and many people have left hockey sticks outside their homes to pay tribute to the young athlete.Featured Image Credit: Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images. Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images