Football

Johnson attends Roberts' funeral

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England star Adam Johnson joined fellow footballers on Tuesday at the funeral of his friend, goalkeeper Dale Roberts.

The 24-year-old Rushden and Diamonds player was found hanged at his home in Higham Ferrers, Rushden, Northamptonshire on December 14.

Roberts, who had played for the England C team after a promising start in youth football, grew up with Johnson in the former pit village of Horden, County Durham. The two boys were school friends and their families went on holiday together and both played academy football for Middlesbrough, before Roberts signed for Nottingham Forest.

St Mary's Church, known as the Miner's Cathedral, in Horden, was packed for the hour-long service.

The Rushden squad, who travelled up on the team coach, wore club suits for the sombre occasion.

Johnson, who wore a dark suit with a muffler against the bitter cold, appeared devastated afterwards.

The 23-year-old revealed a vest reading "RIP Dale" after scoring the winning goal in Manchester City's 1-0 Premier League win over Blackpool.

Other players there included the Middlesbrough regulars David Wheater and Matthew Bates.

Roberts played in Boro's successful youth team.

Northamptonshire Police said Roberts' death was not being treated as suspicious.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Football
Manchester City
League One
Premier League
Nottingham Forest
Rochdale
David Wheater
Matthew Bates
Middlesbrough
Matthew Bates
Adam Johnson
Blackpool
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