Family of footballer fighting for his life after crash near Norwich ‘touched and overwhelmed’ by messages of support
A young footballer was fighting for his life today after being involved in a car crash near Norwich.
Liam Still, 21, a goalkeeper for both Wroxham Reserves FC and Riverside Rovers, suffered serious injuries after the blue Vauxhall Corsa he was driving left the B1108 Watton Road, at Bawburgh, and collided with a tree.
The accident happened at around 5.15am on Saturday as he was travelling towards Norwich, where he lives.
Mr Still, nicknamed 'Stillo', was initially treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) but was last night moved to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. His condition is described as 'critical but stable'.
Last night the family of the 21-year-old, right, who plays in both the Norwich and District Sunday League and the Anglian Combination, told of their 'devastation' over what has happened, but thanked family and friends for the support they have reecived.
The statement read: 'All family and friends of Liam have been devastated following the serious crash that Liam was involved in on Saturday morning.
'He has left his mark on so many people in his life. Liam is loved and thought so much of, by so many people and this has been evident in the number of visitors to see him in hospital and the kind messages left by a number of people on social networking sites, including amongst others, Darren Huckerby and John Ruddy.
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'Liam is a keen sportsman and loves his football, playing in goal for a number of teams over the years, most recently Wroxham Reserves.
'Liam's family have been touched and somewhat overwhelmed with the messages of support and kindness shown since this tragic incident, from amongst others his friends, footballing colleagues and work friends from Barclays.
'It is clear that he means so much to so many people amd touches so many peoples' lives in his own special way, not least his mum, dad, brother, sisters, grandparents and the rest of his loving family.
'We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at the NNUH, especially those in the ITU for their outstanding care, professionalism and patience.
'Further, thanks to all the emergency services who helped Liam straight after his crash. If it wasn't for these people, we would not be in the position that we are now.
'At the time of writing, Liam remains critical but stable. He has serious brain amd head injuries, along with other significant ones. Currently, he is being prepped for transfer to Addenbrokes, where the family know he will receive similar care to that received in Norwich.
'Due to Liam's poor survival chances yesterday, we are in a position that we could not have hoped to be in: Liam is a courageous fighter & he is still fighting his way through.
'The family would urge anyone who witnessed, or has information about this tragic incident, to contact police.'
Team-mates visited Mr Still, a former Sprowston High School pupil, in hospital on Saturday night, with many friends also taking to Twitter to express their support for the popular goalkeeper using the hashtag 'prayforstillo'.
A statement from Wroxham FC said: 'In summary, Stillo is stable with very, very serious injuries, but he is fighting.'
Martin Roberts, Wroxham FC chairman, said Mr Still had risen through the youth ranks and had a fantastic future ahead of him.
He said: 'He is a cheerful, happy go lucky lad but he is always one of those he like a good laugh around the club. Quite a few of the players went up to see him last night and the doctors had to stop people going in to see him in the end as he had that many visitors. The news comes as a complete shock to us all. It's devastating.'
Nigel Youd, Wroxham FC commercial manager, added: 'It really is gut-wrenching. He's a great guy, he really is. He's like part of the family - if you are involved in the club it's like an extended family.'
Riverside Rovers, of the Norwich and District Sunday Football League, said Mr Still had been with them since they started three years ago.
Michael Mann, secretary of the club, said Mr Still had continued enjoying playing, despite suffering a broken leg in the semi-final of a cup game in the 2010/11 season.
Mr Mann said: 'We wish him all the best.'
Norfolk Police say officers are particularly keen to speak to the driver of a black Volkswagen Golf, which is believed to have been in the area around the time of the crash.
Witnesses are asked to contact Sergeant Simon Atherton at Norfolk Constabulary's roads policing unit on 101.