‘He would have won titles’: Badminton chairman’s tribute to young crash victim

Young badminton player Bradley Smith, who died following a crash on the A47 near Swaffham. Picture:

Young badminton player Bradley Smith, who died following a crash on the A47 near Swaffham. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A young badminton player who died in a crash on the A47 would have won many titles on the court and was a wonderful person off of it.

This is the view the chairman of his club, who has joined in the tributes to 18-year-old Bradley Smith.

Mr Smith, of Cecil Road in Norwich, died in hospital on Monday, November 4, after being involved in a crash on the main road close to Swaffham.

An apprentice printer, Mr Smith was selected to represent his county at the sport from youth level before progressing into the senior set up in recent years.

Warm tributes have been paid to the youngster since his death, with Simon Piff, chairman of Norfolk Badminton being the latest to add his voice those remembering him.

He said: "Everyone involved in Norfolk Badminton was devastated to hear the tragic news.

"Bradley was a hugely gifted badminton player, who had represented Norfolk for several years at junior level, before moving into the senior county teams.

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"He was someone who I fully expected to continue to represent Norfolk for many years to come, winning county titles along the way.

"Off the court, he was a wonderful person who could always see the lighter side of life, bringing cheer to those around him.

"He will be forever missed by all who know him and our thoughts are with his family at this heartbreaking time."

Louise Jackson, Hewett Academy headteacher, added: "We were all extremely shocked and saddened to hear the news of the tragic death of Bradley.

"He was an ex-student of the Hewett Academy and staff who knew him remember him as a wonderfully gifted sportsman and a gentleman. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time and the whole school community sends its condolences."

Yesterday, members of his family issued a statement describing him as "a wonderful, loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend".

The crash happened at around 8pm on Sunday, November 3, close to the A47's junction with Norwich Road, involving Mr Smith's Kia Rio, a Fiat Doblo and a Mercedes Vito van.

Members of the public scrambled to free him from his car before emergency services arrived and he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where he died the following day.

Anybody who either witnessed the crash, has dash-cam footage of it, or any information regarding it, should contact PC Michael Stolworthy at the Swaffham roads and armed police team on 101 quoting CAD reference 375 of Sunday, November 3. Alternatively, email michael.stolworthy@norfolk.pnn.police.uk

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