TRIBUTES have poured in after the tragic death of a 20-year-old rocked the Woking community.
Joe Reay was killed after being hit by a taxi at around 5.20am on Saturday (November 1). Surrey Police officers were called to the collision in Woodham Lane where they located the driver and vehicle involved.
Joe, a member of Woking Football Club’s Academy, was found a short time later and, sadly, pronounced dead at the scene.
Road closures were in place in the immediate area while emergency crews attended the incident, with all blockades lifted at around 11.30am.
A spokesman for Surrey Police said: “Specialist officers are supporting Joe’s family and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
A man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and has been released on police bail until Thursday, January 8 while the investigation continues.
Joe, who was a former Salesians School pupil, was on the books at Premier League side Chelsea as a youngster, where he played alongside the now British sprinter, Adam Gemili.
Along with a picture of the pair in their youth, the Team GB athlete tweeted: “Gutted to hear about a former team-mate who died yesterday. RIP Joe Reay. My thoughts are with his family.”
The son of Woking Football Club Director Kelvin Reay, Joe had been a guest at a Sportsman’s Dinner with former boxer Frank Bruno at the Cards’ Kingfield stadium in the hours leading up to his death. The father and son had planned to watch Chelsea play QPR together at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Since his untimely passing, Joe’s Facebook page has been awash with messages of condolence and support for his family. Close friend George Eastman posted: “Lucky enough to have spent most of my life with such a great guy! Taken with so much yet to offer! I will always cherish the memories spent with such an amazing lad.”
Friend and Woking fan Ellie Beagley posted: “Am devastated to hear the tragic news. No words can describe the injustice of someone so lovely and so young being taken from us all.”
Woking Football Club have confirmed that players will observe a minute’s silence before, and wear black armbands during, one of their upcoming fixtures this month.