Former Nottingham Forest star Derrick Otim has passed away at the age of 24.
Otim – a British-born Ghanaian midfielder – drowned in Lake Keowee while visiting friends in South Carolina, according to reports from the US.
Tributes from Forest and former teammates have been paid in memory of Otim, who played for Forest’s academy before leaving in 2015 for Xavier University in the United States – where he was a regular starter for the football team.
“Rest in peace, Derrick,” wrote his former club on Twitter.
“NFFC are saddened to learn of the passing of former academy player Derrick Otim.
“The thoughts of everyone at the club go out to his friends and family at this tragic time.”
Forest defender Matty Cash also paid tribute, adding: “Such a top lad who always brought a smile to everyone’s face when around him , RIP”.
Meanwhile, former Forest academy teammate James Thorne described Otim as a “genuine good guy”.
“Wow, RIP Derrick Otim, one of the 1st to welcome me to Nottingham & show me around the club & city,” Thorne wrote. “Genuine good guy, thoughts with his family”.
And former Notts County striker Malachi Lavelle-Moore said: “Derrick was one of the humblest, hard working and clean hearted young brothers around! Had a big future ahead of you man, Love Forever Homey”.
One friend also paid tribute, describing Otim as the “most gentle and kind human being there is”.
“R.I.P brother, growing up was always the bench mark of where we all tried to get to,” they wrote.
“But forgetting football the most gentle + kind human being there is! Prayers up for you and your family at this devastating time.”
Lake Keowee, where Otim is thought to have drowned, was described as the “most deadly body of water” in South Carolina in a 2018 report.
The report also claimed that 32 people had lost their lives there in 25 years.