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Tributes paid to AFD athletes Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrows

Tributes paid to AFD athletes Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrows

Athletics Weekly is deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of two talented Aldershot, Farnham and District athletes

Tributes have been paid to talented teenage Aldershot, Farnham and District athletes Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrows who died after being hit by a car while training in Aldershot on Tuesday evening.

Both athletes were out running at the start of a training session when they were involved in a collision with a black Ford Focus on Queens Avenue shortly after 7:10pm.

The achievements of both runners have featured in the pages of AW on a number of occasions, with 17-year-old Pygott this year’s England under-20 3000m champion and European Youth Championships bronze medallist, and 16-year-old Burrows the Hampshire under-17 3000m champion. Their most recent successes came at the Saucony English Cross Country Relay Championships in Mansfield on Saturday.

Unaware that such a tragedy was about to happen, the latest edition of AW magazine went to press on Tuesday celebrating the performances of AFD athletes, including Pygott and Burrows, at the Mansfield event.

Everyone at Athletics Weekly would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the whole Aldershot, Farnham and District community and the family and friends of Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrows following their deaths.

A minute of silence has been planned for before the senior races at 2XU Surrey League matches this weekend, and other leagues, including the Hampshire League, will also be paying their respects.

Organisers of the Cross de Atapuerca in Spain, where Pygott had been due to race for England on Sunday, have also announced that a minute of silence will be held.

Tasha Vernon, the wife of Rio 2016 Olympian Andy, posted a notice to Twitter to highlight that they will both be wearing black ribbons this weekend in memory of their AFD team-mates and encouraged others to do the same.

Many athletes are among those to have paid tribute to the talented young runners, with their club-mate Steph Twell writing on Twitter: “Start each day with a grateful heart 💚❤️💚 . Saddened by such tragic news at AFD last night. My love goes out to the girls families & community.”

AFD marathoner Charlotte Purdue ‏wrote: “Really can’t believe the news from Aldershot last night. My thoughts are with the families of the girls and all who are affected.” The club’s 2010 European 10,000m medallist Chris Thompson also paid tribute, writing: “Terrible loss of two young Aldershot stars leaves me numb. My thoughts are with the family and Aldershot community.”

In a statement, UK Athletics CEO Niels de Vos, said: “My heart goes out to the family and friends of those affected at this difficult time.

“All at UK Athletics send our deepest sympathies, this is a tragedy which will be felt across the athletics community.”

England Athletics also released a statement and chief executive Chris Jones said: “All our thoughts are with the families, the club and all those affected by this terrible tragedy.

“We are working with the club to provide appropriate support for those affected.”

A 24-year-old soldier is reported to have been arrested on suspicion of drink driving, two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of careless driving while unfit through drink or drugs, following the deaths. Specialist officers are providing support to the teenagers’ families.

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