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Hanley Swan player died after incident in Berrow, Worcestershire
THE family of a young footballer and chef killed in a hit and run incident have paid tribute to him.
Jonathan Stuart Palmer, aged 21, was leaving work at the Duke of York pub in Berrow, on the A438 between Ledbury and Tewksbury, at about 1.50am on Monday.
Mr Palmer’s family have released a statement which said: “Jonathan could kick a ball as soon as he learned to walk and football became the great love of his life.
"As a junior he was part of the successful Abbeymead Rovers team in Gloucester before being spotted and invited to join the West Bromwich Albion Academy at the age of 9.
“Jonathan remained there until the age of 15 before joining the Gloucester City Youth team, until a serious knee injury prevented him from playing for two years. After a long rehabilitation, he joined Hanley Swan FC and had been enjoying his football once again.
“Although having set his sights on a career in football, Jonathan proved to also have talents elsewhere after initially taking a part time job at the Duke Of York pub in Berrow.
“His enthusiasm for cooking quickly became apparent and he was soon offered a fulltime position in the kitchen, where he became one of the three chefs at this popular and well-respected pub restaurant.
“Jonathan was a hugely popular figure in his sporting, working and social life in and around the area and was very much the life and soul of the party. His enthusiasm for life rubbed off on everyone around him.
"He will be missed hugely by his family, friends and colleagues.”
Jonathan was riding his bike when he was involved in a collision with a green Audi cabriolet which was also leaving the grounds of the Duke of York.
Paramedics attended but sadly Mr Palmer was declared deceased at the scene.
The driver of the Audi left the scene and a 34-year-old man was arrested later on Monday on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
He has since been released on police bail pending further enquires.
Inspector Julian Smith, who is leading the investigation into the incident, said: “It remains vital we speak to everyone who witnessed any part of the collision or the moments leading up to it. I would particularly like to hear from everyone who was in the Duke of York last night.
“If anyone was passing the pub on the A438 in the small hours this morning and may have seen the Audi and the bike leaving, then please get in touch.”
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