Adam Johnson's girlfriend 'finds engagement ring' as ice hockey star was 'planning to propose' before his death

17 November 2023, 00:03

Johnson was reportedly planning to propose to his girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe.
Johnson was reportedly planning to propose to his girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe. Picture: Instagram

By Jenny Medlicott

Ice hockey star Adam Johnson was planning to propose to his girlfriend, his family has revealed.

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Johnson, 29, was killed after his neck was cut by a skate as Nottingham Panthers played Sheffield Steelers.

His family has now revealed that the star was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe, before his death.

Wolfe, 24, found an engagement ring in their apartment after his family confirmed he was planning to propose to her, according to reports.

"We were all really excited because we were really looking forward to their future and he didn't get a chance to ask her, and then this happened," Johnson’s aunt Kari told a Minnesota news outlet.

Scott Pionk, whose son played hockey with Johnson in college, also told USA Today: “His grandmother told me that he had shown her (Johnson's grandmother) the ring before he left and he was going to propose at some point.”

The pair had reportedly been dating for over three years and Johnson had purchased the ring before their move to England for his career.

The pair attending a family wedding.
The pair attending a family wedding. Picture: Instagram

Read more: Man arrested for manslaughter of ice hockey player Adam Johnson killed during match

Read more: ‘Risk of future deaths’: Coroner calls for ice hockey neck guards to be mandatory after death of Adam Johnson

Speaking at his funeral earlier this month, Wolfe gave an emotional eulogy for the ice hockey star.

She said: “You've been so amazingly supportive and kind to me since the day we met.

“And I couldn't have been more grateful for it. I always thought that maybe if I was lucky enough, after a lifetime together, that I might start to be more like you.

“You're such a special person, you have the best sense of humor, the biggest heart, the quickest wit and the kindest soul. You're unbelievably loyal, dedicated and smart. You're so, so smart.

“Whether it came to school or life in general, you just seem to have it all figured out, which gave me so much peace and comfort, and made me feel like we could do anything, or be anything, and we'd be OK. We'd be happy.”

She finally added: “'To me you were everything. you were my home, my best friend, my sounding board, my rock, my safe haven and the love of my life.

“I’m never gonna stop thinking about you, missing you and loving you until we can be together again. Love you.”

A funeral was held for the ice hockey star earlier this month.
A funeral was held for the ice hockey star earlier this month. Picture: Alamy

It comes after a man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over Johnson’s death earlier this week.

South Yorkshire Police said officers arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter on Tuesday and he remains in custody.

"Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances," Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said.

"We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.

"Adam's death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world.

"We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process. Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as enquiries continue."