Assistant manager Graeme Jones is the latest of a string of people to add his thoughts on the tragic Michael Maidens – who was killed in a car crash on Friday evening.
Maidens was not in the Hartlepool squad that travelled to South Wales but such was his loss that the game was cancelled at short notice with Tom Butler stating that several of his former team mates were in tears over the loss. Graeme Jones was one of a three strong Swansea contingent – including Roberto and Kevin Johns – who visited the Hartlepool squad in their hotel on Saturday after news of the tragedy broke. ”Michael played a couple of friendlies for us with a view to coming on loan, although it didn’t happen in the end because of the three-club rule,” Swansea’s assistant manager told the Evening Post.
”He was a quality individual. He was immaculately dressed and well spoken and I remember when we tried to give him expenses for games, he wouldn’t take them. He was an attacking midfield player with lots of potential and he lived his life correctly.
”What’s happened is just devastating for his family. It’s tragic news and it’s hit me quite hard because I knew him personally.
”I know it’s hit Danny Wilson and his players hard too. A few of them came right through the youth ranks with Michael and it’s had a huge impact.
”They were in no fit state to play football and, while we all want to play the game, the human side takes priority in situations like this. Michael and his family are at the forefront of our thoughts.”
Butler added ”They had a team meeting and were given the option of playing the game, but Ritchie said there were 12 or 13 of the lads crying
”It’s a massive loss and it was impossible for them to even consider playing a match. All the players are really close at Hartlepool, they do everything together and it’s a massive shock for them.’
”Michael was just a young lad who showed a lot of promise and had a bright future. He was a good footballer and a good person as well,” Butler added.
”When you hear news like this it’s just devastating. It’s a big shock for me because I played and trained alongside him.
”For it to happen to a 20-year-old puts things in perspective. It shatters you and makes you realise that things you think are important are not. Everything else becomes irrelevant.”