Football boss pays tribute to Arundel death-crash victim

Tributes have been paid to a young Barnham FC footballer who died in a head-on car crash on his way home from training.

Tributes have been paid to a young Barnham FC footballer who died in a head-on car crash on his way home from training.

Lawrence Stevens was driving home on the A27 after a training session with Barnham Football Club’s successful reserve side when the accident happened outside the White Swan pub at Arundel last Thursday.

The 20-year-old’s car caught fire after the collision with a Peugeot 206, and despite brave efforts from the emergency services he could not be saved.

All three of Barnham FC’s senior football matches were postponed on Saturday as a mark of respect.

Lawrence had made a number of appearances as a sub, and had started for the reserve team, managed by Trevor Cassey, who play in division one of the West Sussex League.

It was his first season back playing for Barnham after a few years’ absence. He had previously risen through the age groups of the Barnham Trojans.

Mr Cassey said he made a significant contribution earlier in the season, scoring a memorable winning goal against league rivals Newtown Villa.

He said: “We knew he would be part of the squad - he was just finding his feet. He used to come on as a sub, and the last couple of games he had started.

“He was a real happy-go-lucky guy. He would never moan. He was at training joining in with the banter with all the boys. This is the kind of thing you cannot believe happening.

“When I heard, I thought how 12 hours ago, we’d been having a laugh and joke.

“Players come and go - they go to university - but he was on of a couple of younger players that were for the future of the team.”