Suffolk steel tragedy: Ex-Town star Scowcroft tells of village shock

FORMER Ipswich Town star James Scowcroft has told of his shock and sadness at the deaths of four men from his home village.

The footballer, 35, who has lived in Stanton all his life, knew all the victims of the engineering accident in Great Yarmouth and said their loss had “brought a community to its knees”.

But he said the people of the village and surrounding area would rally round to give the grieving families all the support they needed.

Brothers Tom, 26, and Dan Hazelton, 30, Peter Johnson, 42, and Adam Taylor, 28, were all crushed to death while working at Claxton Engineering Services Limited.

Scowcroft, a striker who played nearly 250 games for Ipswich and scored 55 goals, said news of the accident on Friday had caused great shock and distress in the tight-knit village.

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“It’s an horrendous tragedy that has brought a community to its knees,” he said.

“I knew all four of them and my thoughts go out to all of their families.”

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The former England under-21 international was born in Bury St Edmunds and has always kept a base in Stanton throughout a career that also saw him play for Leicester City, Coventry City, Crystal Palace and Leyton Orient. He sits on the committee of Stanton Football Club.

“I’ve lived in Stanton all my life and it’s a community where a lot of people have lived here for the majority of their lives,” he said.

“What has happened has devastated everybody. There are so many people connected to it and affected by it.

“But it is a special community which will rally round the families and give them all the support they need.”

Scowcroft, who called time on his professional career at the end of last season, is now playing semi-professionally for Bury Town in the Ryman League Premier Division and also does some media work for BBC Radio Suffolk.

During a 16-year professional career, he played more than 550 games and scored more than 100 goals. He was named Ipswich’s Player of the Year when the club was promoted to the Premier League in 1999-2000. The forward /midfielder had a starring role again as the Blues secured European football in their first season in the top flight in 2000-01 and, after leaving for Leicester City in a �3million transfer, later returned to Portman Road on loan for a second spell.

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