British cricketer shot dead by robbers in Trinidad


Aspiring young British cricketer , Adrian St John was shot dead in an armed robbery incident in Trinidad.
He died on Sunday.

The cricketer, who is from Kennington, was targeted by two gunmen when he stopped the car he was driving to pick someone up at around 8.30pm in the town of San Juan.

Local police said the men ordered him to drive off after robbing him but as he was doing so, one of the gunmen on the roadside fired a shot, hitting him in the head.

It is believed the men stole mobile phones and cash, according to the local media.

Mr St John, who had plans to play one day for the West Indies, was taken to the nearby Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, where he died shortly after.

Adrian St John, 22, was described by his coach and mentor and friends as a “sweet” and “lovely person”.

West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle tweeted: “Such sad news to hear. My condolences to his family & friends. Adrian St John was the captain of the academy.“

In London, Manny Cohen, chairman of the Alleyn cricket club in south London, said: “We are all in deep shock, it is difficult to comprehend.

“He played 85 matches for us and he was still helping out with coaching for the children’s sides in the summer. “

Mr St John started playing for the club when he was 15 and quickly got promoted to the senior teams when he was just 16.

Mr Cohen said: “He was a very naturally gifted player. But he was also very generous to everyone he played with, helping them out.

“He was very laid back and did not have a bad bone in his body. He was a sweet fellow, there was nothing to dislike about him.”

Mr St John grew up in Kennington, just minutes from the famous Oval cricket ground in south London, and developed a passion for the sport as a young boy.

Adrian Atherton, a coach at the London Schools Cricket Association, who has known Mr St John since he was 10, said he was the “greatest boy” and that his coaches were hoping for “big things” for him.

He said, “He was the sweetest boy. I’ve never known Adrian get angry or get into a fight with anyone – he was a really, really sweet boy.

“He was humble and loved the game of cricket.”

Donovan Miller, 37, who co-founded the Chris Gayle cricket academy and is a director there, said: “He joined in 2013 and he was one of the first members of the academy.

“Ever since he’s been playing he was helping the members and helping with coaching. He was such a lovely character and all the guys loved him.

“He had the biggest smile and always had the biggest jokes. He would never harm anyone which is why this is so shocking and hard to take.”

He said the young cricketer had studied at the University of Hertfordshire and added: “He wanted to go to the Caribbean to play and better his game. He was due to come back next week, it’s so tragic.”

Mr St John’s cousin, Leandra Alexander, said Mr St John came to Trinidad and Tobago for carnival and enjoyed his visit so much he wanted to stay in the country.

She said: “Adrian was very cool and jolly. He was a darling. He was never rude, never disrespectful, he was just a cool and quiet child.”

Lee Mcilwraith, 30, who played cricket with Mr St John at the Oxted and Limpsfield cricket club, said: “He was a lovely guy, really chilled out, very laid back. He had a great sense of humour and he would never hurt anyone.

“He always used to wear a beanie hat because he was always complaining about the cold. He was a very, very talented cricketer and batsman.”

He said his friend lived in London but had Caribbean heritage hoped one day to move to Trinidad to play for the West Indies.

Andrew Hulse, the young cricketer’s former landlord at the house in Hertfordshire he had lived in as a student, added: “He was a terrific lad and I just can’t believe the news.“

A 24-year-old suspect was held for the murder, the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online reported.

The Foreign Office said it was in contact with authorities in Trinidad.

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