Tribute to ‘brilliant’ Darren

A FOOTBALL enthusiast, who was “always there to help” died in a car accident on the A21 near Sedlescombe on Wednesday morning.

Darren Horton, 37, of Martyn’s Way, Bexhill, was pronounced dead at the scene after the car he was travelling in left the road and collided with some metal bridge railings, just north of the junction with Marley Lane.

Father Mr Horton had been heavily involved with Ninfield United Football Club for almost 10 years and ran the reserves team.

He was also club secretary and had sat on the committee.

Current secretary Chris Copley had known Mr Horton for more than 15 years.

He said: “He did not have a bad bone in his body and he was always there to help.

“He enjoyed socialising with us after the football games as well.

“He was very well-liked by everyone, and only had anyone’s interests at the top of his list of priorities.

“He was always fun and enjoyed life.”

Ninfield have postponed their first and reserve team fixtures tomorrow (Saturday) as a mark of respect to Mr Horton and anyone connected with the club is invited to a memorial gathering at the Blacksmiths Inn in the village from 3pm tomorrow.

Mr Horton had recently joined Beulah Baptists football team in Bexhill.

Manager Luke Atkinson described him as an enthusiastic personality who “always gave 100 percent”.

He said: “He was great. He was incredibly passionate.

“He was enthusiastic and worked tirelessly to build people up.

“I have had phonecalls over the last 24 hours not just from the team, but people who had come to training and met him just once.

“His infectious enthusiasm inspired other people.

“Everyone knew Darren. He was a really great bloke to be around.

“If you left it with Daz it would get done well. He was brilliant.”

The accident happened at around 7.15am when the black Peugeot 107 car Mr Horton was driving left the carriageway on the left hand side and collided with the railings.

Despite a couple of motorists stopping to help, Mr Horton died at the scene of the accident.

Police say it is not yet clear what caused the car to leave the carriageway.

Officers closed the stretch of road between the junction of Marley Lane and Johns Cross for several hours as crash investigators examined the scene.

The road was re-opened by 12.45pm.

Sergeant Dan Russell, of Battle Police, said: “This is very sad and tragic and my thoughts are with family and friends at this time.”

Battle MP Greg Barker said: “This is another tragic accident on the A21 and my heart goes out to this local young man’s family.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions about the causes but we know the A21 remains one of the most dangerous roads in Britain and we need to turn this around.”

Sussex Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision, or who may have seen a black Peugeot 107 in the area prior to the crash, to call 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Azure.