Teenage footballer Connor Saunders dies after street fight
A teenage footballer, who earlier this season played for Crawley Down, has died after being assaulted during a fight between two groups.
Connor Saunders, 19, of Downsway, Woodingdean, Brighton, was in West Street, Rottingdean, last night (Saturday) when he was punched to the floor.
Shortly after the assault three boys - a 13-year-old and two 14-year-olds - were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. They have now been arrested on suspicion of murder. They remain in custody.
It is believed the assault took place between 10.30pm and 10.55pm and police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information which may help to contact them.
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Detective Chief Inspector Nick May, who is leading the investigation, said: "Sadly, a young man has now died following a serious assault in Rottingdean last night. Our thoughts are with the family at what is an incredibly difficult time for them.
"Officers will be in the Rottingdean area to speak with local residents and anyone who may be concerned about the incident.
"An area of West Street is cordoned off to help us with our investigation and residents and visitors to Rottingdean today have been very understanding of the reasons around this. I'd like to thank them for their continued patience and support.
"We are still working to establish the full circumstances of the incident. At the moment we believe that an altercation has taken place between two groups in West Street. Members of each group are known to each other and during the incident the 19-year-old victim has been punched to the head, causing him to fall to the floor. "I am aware that there has been some speculation locally that a weapon was involved, but there is no indication from the information we have that this was the case.
"We are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident and has not yet spoken to police. We would also like to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything prior to the assault taking place."
Mr Saunders played for Crawley Down earlier this season but had since moved to Peacehaven FC,
Anyone with information on the incident should call Sussex Police on 101.