Wigan Olympic star's brother dies in industrial accident

The younger brother of a Wigan Olympian has been named as the victim of a fatal industrial accident.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 4:05 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 5:30 pm
Connor Borthwick

Connor Borthwick became trapped in machinery at a business park in Blackburn last Thursday (November 25).

Fire crews and paramedics battled to save the 22-year-old following the incident in Bruce Street but, tragically, he succumbed to his injuries.

He is the brother of Olympic high jumper Emily Borthwick, 24, who competed in Tokyo in the summer.

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The former Deanery High School pupil was himself a high jumper for Wigan and District Harriers (being crowned northern champion six years ago) and also played football, having been a member of St Jude's FC and Shevington FC.

Family today paid tribute to his "boundless energy and generous spirit".

Lancashire Police say they were called by the Ambulance Service around 3pm on Thursday to a report of an industrial accident on business premises.

Emily Borthwick competed at last summer's Olympics

A spokesman said Mr Borthwick had suffered serious injuries which, sadly, proved fatal. He added: "Our thoughts remain with his family and friends at this time."

In a statement, Mr Borthwick’s family said: “Our son and brother, Connor, was a light that shone brightly, if only for 22 years.

“His boundless energy and generous spirit enriched the lives of whoever he met. He loved his friends and family.

“We have been overwhelmed by the love and support we have received since his death.

Connor on GCSE results day at the Deanery High

"It is a real testament to the way he touched so many people’s lives in a positive way and enriched ours beyond measure.

"We will miss him so much.”

Athletics coach Trevor Painter, who is partner of another Olympian Jenny Meadows and trains Emily and middle distance runner Keely Hodgkinson, also paid tribute on social media.

He wrote: "So so proud of the Borthwick family and their strength in this darkest of hours.

"Loved when he dropped in on our sessions a few years ago as he always had a cheeky story and a glint in his eye.

"RIP Connor your light will never be forgotten."

And Shevington FC took to social media to write: "It is with a heavy heart that we announces the passing of one of our open age players.

"Connor Borthwick sadly died on Thursday.

"Our condolences go out to Mandy, Darren, Emily and all his family and friends. Rest in peace Connor."

Police say they are at the early stages of a joint investigation into the circumstances with colleagues from the Health and Safety Executive and those inquiries are ongoing.

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