Tributes as well known Doncaster sportsman dies at 44

Hammer thrower Steve Minnikin.

Hammer thrower Steve Minnikin.

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Tributes have been paid to a popular Doncaster athlete who represented England and Great Britain following his shock death.

Athlete Steve Minnikin, 44, was well-known in local sporting circles and had represented Great Britain, England and Yorkshire at hammer throwing.

Announcing his death in the Doncaster Athletic Club Facebook group, fellow athlete Kev Lincoln wrote: "Sad news. It is with regret that I have been notified of the death of Steve Minnikin, who was found in his house yesterday.

"We will be notified about funeral arrangements in due course and I have sent our thoughts to Steve's family."

It is understood Mr Minnikin was found at his home on Tuesday. Athletes are due to hold a minute's silence at Doncaster Athletic club tomorrow night at 6.30pm.

Julie Chappell wrote on the club's Facebook page: "So sad, a lovely man, RIP Steve" while Roy Veall posted: "Truly awful news about a great guy way too young to have gone."

Joanne Goodier wrote: "Devastating news. Shocked and saddened."

Hammer ace Mr Minnikin represented Great Britain at both under 20 and under 23 level, England at both U23 and senior level and the North of England 19 times. He also represented Yorkshire nearly 250 times.

During a career spanning 20 years, he was AAA u23 champion in 1994 and 1995, northern senior Champion 1991 and northern junior champion in 1990 and 1991.

He was also Yorkshire Senior County Champion a total of 18 times, winning the title consecutively from 1991-1999, then again from 2001-2007 as well as in 2011 and 2012.

The sports star was also awarded The Ellis Trophy in 1990 for the most promising junior thrower in the UK and held a number of records and other titles during a glittering career.