Footballer killed in late-night car crash

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The Independent Online

The Portsmouth goalkeeper, Aaron Flahavan, was killed in a car crash in the early hours of yesterday, police said.

The 25-year-old footballer lost control of his BMW 318 coupé just after midnight as he was driving on the A338 in Bournemouth, Dorset. The car crossed the central reservation of the dual carriageway before rolling several times and coming to rest in a field. Mr Flahavan, from Southampton, was pronounced dead at the Royal Bournemouth General Hospital. No other car was involved.

Mr Flahavan had a history of blackouts on the pitch and police were trying to establish if a health problem was behind the crash. The Portsmouth manager, Graham Rix, paid tribute to Mr Flahavan, who graduated from the club's youth team, and offered his condolences to the player's friends and family. He said: "It's really sad. I feel for his family. He was a really smashing young lad."

A statement on the club's website said: "Everybody at the club is shocked and devastated. Many people at the club have watched Aaron grow up and mature into a fine young man and goalkeeper."