Lancashire

Tunisia beach attack: Ex-Birmingham City player and wife killed

Undated handout photo taken from the Twitter feed of Danny Clifford who has taken to social media in a bid to find Denis and Elaine Thwaites Image copyright PA
Image caption Denis and Elaine Thwaites, aged 70 and 69, arrived in Sousse on Wednesday

A former Birmingham City footballer and his wife were among those killed in the Tunisian beach attack, the BBC understands.

Denis Thwaites and his partner Elaine, aged 70 and 69, from Lancashire, were staying at the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba in Sousse when the attack took place.

The shooting on Friday killed 38 people, most of whom were British.

The football club said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the deaths.

Their son-in-law Danny Clifford earlier said news the family received telling them the Blackpool couple were in hospital was misinformation.

Gordon Marsden, Labour MP for Blackpool South, tweeted: "Very sad to hear Denis & Elaine Thwaites from Blackpool among those killed in the terrorist attack in Sousse. Condolences to their family."

Born in Stockton-on-Tees in December 1944, Mr Thwaites played for Birmingham City between 1962 and 1972 before retiring from football at the age of 27.

Birmingham City posted a tweet saying: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of former player Denis Thwaites and his wife Elaine in the Tunisian terrorist attack.

"Our thoughts are with Denis' family. The club also offers its condolences to all who are mourning loved ones due to this atrocity.

"May they rest in peace."

Image copyright BCFC
Image caption Denis Thwaites played in midfield for Birmingham City Football Club

Their deaths are yet to be officially confirmed by the Foreign Office.

The Prime Minister confirmed the gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui, was thought to have been part of a network inspired by Islamic State militants.

A national minute's silence will be held to remember victims of the attack on Friday at 12:00 BST, a week after the shooting.

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