A man who died after he was shot by police with a Taser gun has been named locally as ex-Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson.
Officers were called to a home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shrophire in the early hours of this morning amid concerns "for the safety of an individual".
West Mercia Police said the 48-year-old man was given medical treatment after being hit by a stun gun but died around 90 minutes later.
An unnamed neighbour said: "I had known him since he was a little boy, he was a famous footballer at one time. He was friendly, he had no trouble that I know of."
An ambulance spokesman said while the man was being taken to Princess Royal Hospital his condition deteriorated and he suffered a cardiac arrest.
He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the medical facility.
Atkinson's wonder goal against Wimbledon during a 3-2 win in October 1992 was named Match of the Day's goal of the season.
The police use of Tasers is intended as a non-lethal weapon.
The incident has now been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Police said in a statement: "West Mercia Police can confirm that officers responded to a report for the concern for the safety of an individual at approximately 1.30am this morning at an address in Telford.
"Upon arrival Taser was deployed and a 48-year-old man, who subsequently received medical attention, was pronounced dead at approximately 3am.
"West Mercia Police are unable to comment any further as the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as is normal procedure, and will assist the IPCC with their inquiries."
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We were called by West Mercia Police to an address in Meadow Close in the Trench area of Telford at about 1.45am this morning.
"An ambulance was dispatched and upon arrival found a man who had been Tasered.
"As he was being conveyed to Princess Royal Hospital, his condition deteriorated and he went into cardiac arrest.
"Despite the efforts of the crew and hospital staff, it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at hospital, shortly after arrival."
The police use of Tasers rose slightly towards the end of 2015 with 10,329 uses by forces in England and Wales - a 2% increase compared with 2014.
Source: Sky Sports
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The Professional Footballers’ Association have said that they were urgently seeking treatment for Dalian Atkinson who was due to see a specialist about his kidney condition on the day that he was Tasered by police in Shropshire and later died.
The PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes said that Atkinson, who was 48 when he died, had spoken personally to chief executive Gordon Taylor on Friday about his situation and the former Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday striker was booked in for an appointment on Monday. He died in the early hours of the morning when he was Tasered by police having tried to force his way into the Telford home of his father Ernest, 85.
Barnes, himself formerly of West Ham, a contemporary of Atkinson, said that the player was due to see a specialist in Manchester on Monday. Previous to that, the PFA had been arranging his travel from his home to the hospital that was treating him for more than a year. Atkinson was in contact with the PFA’s head of player welfare Michael Bennett for some time. Barnes said: “Dalian had a kidney and liver condition and his partner Karen had been in contact with our head of welfare. Gordon spoke to Dalian and Karen on Friday and we had arranged for Dalian to see a specialist on Monday. We were going to pay for that because that’s what we do. It was a huge shock for us when the news started coming out.”
He added: “It’s tragic that his life had ended under these circumstances and we feel for his family. The details are for another day and without going into the details of Dalian’s life, as much as anything it does illustrate that life after football can be hard. "We have 40-50 counsellors at the PFA. There is a lot of living to be done when you finish playing. How well-equipped players are to move into that second phase of their life … it’s something we focus hugely on.”
One of the original Premier League footballers, playing in the league’s first season in 1992-1993, Atkinson’s career drifted after he left Aston Villa in 1995. He retired from the game in 2001. The Independent Police Complaints Commission have promised a full investigation into the incident involving West Mercia police force.