German keeper Enke dies after being hit by express train

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German football was in shock after it was confirmed that the national team goalkeeper Robert Enke was killed in an incident at a railway level crossing yesterday.

The 32-year-old was struck by a regional express train at Neustadt am Rubenberge near Hanover and died at the scene. Local police said early indications were that it was suicide. Last night Enke's agent Jörg Neblung said: "I can confirm this is a case of suicide. He took his own life just before six [pm]. There will be a press conference tomorrow with more details."

Enke leaves behind his wife, Teresa, and an eight-month-old daughter whom the couple had adopted in May. The Enkes lost their own daughter Lara in 2006 when she died of a rare heart condition at the age of just two.

Enke played for Carl Zeiss Jena, Borussia Monchengladbach, Benfica, Barcelona, Fenerbahce and Tenerife. He then returned to the Bundesliga, joining Hannover in 2004 and earned his first cap for Germany in 2007.

Enke made eight appearances for Germany and was regarded as the favourite to be their No 1 at the World Cup in South Africa next summer, but a bacterial infection forced him out of their World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in September. He was omitted from the Germany squad for their friendlies against Chile on Saturday and Ivory Coast next Wednesday.

His national team colleagues learnt the news after training yesterday. "We are lost for words," said Germany's general manager Oliver Bierhoff.