Bristol Rovers defender's brother stabbed to death
THE brother of Bristol Rovers defender Dan Woodards, right, has been stabbed to death.
It has emerged that a man who died at a new shopping centre yards from the Olympic Park in London was Mr Woodards' younger brother Liam, who was 24.
In a statement released yesterday Rovers manager Mark McGhee said the club would support its player of the season in whatever way it could.
Mr McGhee said: "The news came as quite a shock to us all.
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"The Bristol Rovers family sends our condolences to Danny and his family. We will do everything we can to support him at this sad and difficult time."
Mr Woodards, 28, was not available for comment last night but the club has been in contact with the player, who is currently recovering from a broken leg sustained in the final game of the last campaign at Dagenham & Redbridge.
He is understood to have been back at his London home for the summer break and was scheduled to report for the start of pre-season training on Thursday but is now expected to be offered time away on compassionate leave.
Youth worker Liam was stabbed to death at the Westfield Stratford Mall in East London after a fight broke out on Friday afternoon between two groups of men.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Officers and London Ambulance Service attended the scene. A man suffering stab wounds, believed aged in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene. We understand two other males suffered minor injuries."
A London Ambulance service spokesman said: "Sadly, despite extensive efforts to resuscitate him, the patient was pronounced dead at the scene."
Around 50 friends and relatives gathered outside the flat where Liam, above, lived to hold a day-long vigil after his death. Several had been celebrating his 24th birthday on the day before he was killed.
Friends paid tribute to a "good guy" who had helped with roller-skate events to keep young people off the streets.
Police set up a murder investigation and nine men arrested in connection with the incident have appeared in court charged with violent disorder. One man has been cautioned for affray and another has been bailed pending further inquiries.
The fight is believed to have started when one of two groups of men begun hurling chairs at the other and quickly spread from the recently-opened shopping complex, which is next to the Olympic Village, to a nearby tube station.