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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
QPR's Ray Jones dies in car crash
QPR striker Ray Jones, who has died in a car crash
QPR are mourning the loss of Ray Jones
QPR's teenage striker Ray Jones has died in a car accident.

The Championship club postponed Saturday's match at Burnley following the death of the young forward.

A statement said: "QPR is in mourning following the tragic news that striker Ray Jones died in a motor accident in the early hours of Saturday morning."

The 18-year-old England youth international was involved in an accident in East Ham and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The club said the collision occurred at about 0020 BST on Saturday in High Street South, East Ham.

Police confirmed Jones was one of three people to have been killed in the collision between a black Volkswagen Golf and a double-decker bus.

One of the two other fatalities was also pronounced dead at the scene, while the third was taken to hospital in a critical condition, where he later died.

The car's two remaining occupants were also transported to hospital and one is in a serious condition and the other is described as walking wounded.

Former QPR manager Ian Holloway, who is now at Plymouth, added his own tribute: "It's a terrible tragedy. A young life taken away. A young talent gone.

"I knew him, he was a great kid and a fantastic talent as well, so my heart bleeds for all of them. For me there's no worse thing than to have to bury your child and I'm so sorry for them."

Police are awaiting details on whether anyone on the bus was injured and are appealing for any witnesses.

QPR's statement continued: "Everyone at Queens Park Rangers extends their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ray at this sad time."

Chairman chairman Gianni Paladini added: "We are all shocked and saddened by the news. It's a huge loss for this football club.

Everyone at Queens Park Rangers extends their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ray at this sad time

QPR statement

"Ray had the world at his feet and he will be sorely missed by everyone connected to QPR.

"Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends. We will be doing everything we can to help them through this terrible time."

Club captain Adam Boulder added: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened. Ray was one of us. A footballer with a passion to succeed for himself and for QPR.

"It goes without saying that Ray was the most gifted player at the club. He had fantastic raw ability, and was destined for a very bright future, both at club and international level. He was a great character, a very popular figure in the dressing room, and he will be sadly missed.

"Words can't really express how we all feel at the moment. It is a tragedy that we are all struggling to come to terms with, but we will pick ourselves up and play our hearts out for Ray.

"Every kick, every shot, every tackle will be for him. He was one of us, and will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace."

Jones, who last season earned a call-up to the England Under-19 squad, was set to miss the match against Burnley because of a foot injury.

He joined the club at the age of 15 and made his professional debut against Watford in April 2006, going on to make 35 appearances in all competitions last term - scoring six goals.

QPR rejected a 200,000 bid from Colchester for Jones at the end of last season.

He had yet to feature this season but was highly rated by QPR and had also attracted interest from Premier League clubs.

But Jones, who would have been 19 on Tuesday, signed a three-and-a-half year deal with QPR in January.

Football League head of communications John Nagle said: "This is tragic news. Ray Jones was just at the start of his playing career but he had already shown tremendous potential.

"The thoughts of everyone at the Football League and its member clubs are with Ray's family and friends, as well as all his colleagues at QPR."

Last year QPR were struck by tragedy when youth team player Kiyan Prince was stabbed to death outside his school at the age of 15.



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