The daughter of former longtime New England Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton tragically died in a boating accident in South Carolina on Wednesday, family and officials confirmed. She was just 11-years-old.
Olivia Knighton was killed in a boating accident on the Intracoastal Waterway in Little River after the 23-foot boat she was on was “rocked by a large wake,” which was caused by another passing boat, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said Thursday.
According to officials, the wake caused all 12 passengers on the boat to go overboard.
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Olivia was struck by the boat’s propeller and later died as a result of her injuries. No other injuries were reported.
Knighton, who retired from Major League Soccer earlier this year, confirmed his daughter’s passing with a statement posted to social media.
“There are no words to express the depth of our profound grief and sorrow in this moment.” Knighton wrote.
“Our family is still in shock at the sudden and tragic loss of our beautiful and brilliant daughter, Olivia, to an unfortunate boating accident yesterday. We are all still in disbelief that her bright and pure light was taken away from us so suddenly.”
“Somehow, we will get through this together as a family.”
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Knighton said his daughter had a love for soccer and the Revolution, where he spent the majority of his professional career playing. The team also issued a statement to social media on Thursday.
“Olivia was a bright and shining light who was a beloved presence around the Revolution throughout her entire life, always bringing a warm smile and laugh to Gillette Stadium and our training facility when she would visit,” the soccer club said.
“Her sudden loss leaves a profound hole in our hearts.”
The New England Patriots also tweeted their condolences.
“We are heartbroken by this devastating news and extend our sincerest sympathies to the Knighton family and the Revolution organization.”
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Knighton announced his retirement in January after a 16-year career. He played 12 seasons in New England across two stints, a club record. He helped the Revolution reach the MLS Cup Finals in 2007 and 2014.
With Knighton between the posts, New England was also awarded the Supporters’ Shield in 2021 for having the best regular season record.
He currently serves as the Revolution Academy’s Under-17 head coach.