England

Billy Seymour death: Tributes paid to football abuse campaigner

Billy Seymour
Image caption Billy Seymour was a passenger in a van which crashed into parked cars and a wall

Tributes have been paid to a former footballer and anti-child abuse campaigner who was killed in a road crash.

Billy Seymour was a passenger in a van which crashed on Thursday.

Mr Seymour was an ambassador for the Offside Trust which described him as a "brave and lovely friend".

He gave evidence in the 2018 trial of former youth football coach Bob Higgins, who faced charges of indecent assault against teenage boys.

The Ford Transit crashed into parked cars and a wall in Wood Lane in Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, at about 22:30 GMT on Thursday. Mr Seymour died in hospital on Saturday.

A former Southampton youth player, he played for Coventry and Millwall during his career.

After his playing career, Mr Seymour came to prominence when he appeared on BBC Two's Victoria Derbyshire programme with allegations of abuse against former Southampton youth coach Bob Higgins.

Image copyright Solent News & Photo Agency
Image caption Billy Seymour gave evidence in the 2018 trial of former youth football coach Bob Higgins

The Offside Trust which, was set up to support victims of abuse in sport, said his death was an "unbelievable loss".

"We have lost a brave and lovely friend today. He was a former Millwall and Coventry player and great ambassador for this Trust. We'll miss you Billy," the trust tweeted.

Ex-England winger Trevor Sinclair tweeted he was "devastated" at Mr Seymour's death.

"Always had a special connection with Billy from our Lilleshall days. Condolences to his family and loved ones," he said.

Thames Valley Police said a man had been charged following the van crash.

Alexander Clarke, 38, of no fixed address, was charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

He was also charged with failing to provide a roadside breath test and using a motor vehicle on a road without third party insurance.

He was remanded in custody and will appear at Reading Crown Court on 4 February.

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