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Adrian St John death: Family pays tribute to 'true gent' after fatal shooting

Published 12/04/2016

The family of a promising young cricketer shot dead in an apparent robbery in the Caribbean said "the world has lost a true gent" as they told of their shock at his death.

Adrian St John, 22, was targeted by two gunmen as he picked someone up in San Juan Trinidad on Sunday night.

He was robbed of his mobile phone and cash and ordered to drive off before one of the men fired shots at the car, killing him, The Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online reported.

Mr St John, described by his coach as a "talented" sportsman who "wouldn't hurt an insect", had been in the country to improve his cricket, his coaches said.

His family told of their devastation at his killing.

Hamlyn George wrote on Facebook: "RIP cousin ... The world has lost a true gent, heaven has gained another angel to (sic) early."

Mr St John's uncle Ian Campbell changed his Facebook profile picture to a photograph of his smiling nephew in his cricket kit.

Underneath he wrote: "My nephew. Adrian St John. A young man any parent would be proud of ...... RIP."

While his godfather Anthony Marcelle wrote: "He was a wonderful young man, my handsome Godson Adrian, may u (sic) RIP."

Local media said Mr St John, who is believed to have had plans to one day play for the West Indies, was taken to the nearby Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, where he died shortly after.

He grew up in Kennington, just minutes from the famous Oval cricket ground in south London, and developed a passion for the sport as a young boy.

He was captain of the Chris Gayle Academy in London and represented Hertfordshire University on the pitch.

Mr Gayle, who plays international cricket for the West Indies, tweeted: "Such sad news to hear. My condolences to his family & friends. Adrian St John was the captain of the academy. #Sigh".

Coaches and friends of the young cricketer described him as a gentle and "sweet" boy who was on the verge of "big things" in the cricket world.

Donovan Miller, a coach and mentor to Mr St John, told the Press Association: "He had such a nice personality.

"Always smiling. Never have anything bad to say about anyone. And he's someone, for me, the way I'd describe him, he wouldn't hurt an insect.

"For his life to have been taken away from him at such a young age when he has finished his degree at university, and looking to kind of push on to try and give it all he'd got to become a cricketer is very hard to swallow for me.

"And I just can't imagine how his parents are feeling right now."

Adrian Atherton, a coach at the London Schools Cricket Association, who has known Mr St John since he was 10, said he was the "greatest boy".

He told the Press Association: "He was the sweetest boy. I've never known Adrian get angry or get into a fight with anyone - he was a really, really sweet boy.

"He was humble and loved the game of cricket.

"They were hoping for big things for him, he had improved a lot. They were hoping that in the next couple of years he was going to do something big.

"He was a lovely kid and his death has hit us all hard."

Quintin McKellar, vice chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, said: "Staff and students at the university are devastated to hear the news of Adrian's death, the apparent circumstances of which are both shocking and tragic."

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