Adam Johnson: Tragic death of Panthers player will see 'big uptake' in neck guards - Matthew Myers

Tributes lay outside the Nottingham Panthers' Motorpoint Arena after Adam Johnson's death
Tributes have been paid following the death of Nottingham Panthers forward Adam Johnson

The tragic death of Nottingham Panthers forward Adam Johnson will see a surge in players wearing neck protection, according to Matthew Myers.

Johnson, 29, suffered a fatal neck injury from a skate in a match against Sheffield Steelers on 28 October.

Ex-Panthers, Cardiff Devils and Great Britain centre Myers, 39, believes many players will opt for neck protectors even if they are not made mandatory.

"I think there will be a big uptake in wearing neck protection," Myers said.

"I've ordered two protective neck pieces and others on my team have started wearing neck protection... and others on my team have ordered protection.

"Of course we wish Adam was still here and playing, and one of the things we can do to honour Adam is to make sure this never happens again.

"If that means wearing neck protection then so be it, as adults we have the opportunity to say we want to wear it and if every teams owner in the UK was asked tomorrow by every one of their players can I have neck protection, they would buy it no doubt.

"And that would be the same before Adam's passing too, they would want to protect their players."

Myers, who now plays in France for Morzine-Avoriaz, believes even if some players currently feel neck protectors are uncomfortable or restrictive, greater uptake will lead to technical improvements in the safety kit.

"It isn't compulsory. From the age of 18 it becomes non-mandatory, same as protective visors to the face, you'll find there are very few players who do wear them after the age of 18," Myers told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"I don't know what the argument against it (making neck guards mandatory) would be especially at this stage.

"In terms of inhibiting movement I can't really comment because up until now I've not worn neck protection myself, so I don't know what the restrictions are.

"Regardless of that I will start wearing one when mine arrives, and I will deal with whatever inhibited movements I have - I don't think it's going to be a great deal.

"If there is such a massive upturn in requirements for these, I think the technology will improve massively, therefore protection will get better and the comfort factor will get better, because there will be more money spent on this technology."