Adam Johnson’s girlfriend Ryan Wolfe heartbreakingly found the engagement ring he was planning to use to propose to her at their apartment in England, family friends have revealed.
The 29-year-old American ice hockey star was killed after a skate slashed his throat in a collision during a match for the Nottingham Panthers against Sheffield Steelers on October 28.
But now it’s emerged he was going to ask Wolfe, 24, to marry him and she found the ring in their apartment after his family told her of his intentions.
‘His grandmother told me that he had shown her (Johnson’s grandmother) the ring before he left and he was going to propose at some point,’ Scott Pionk, whose son played college hockey with Johnson, told USA Today.
They’re also reporting that a second friend of the Johnson family – who wished to remain anonymous – confirmed Pionk’s account.
Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson and his girlfriend Ryan Wolfe at a family wedding
A man has been arrested on charges of manslaughter following the death of Adam Johnson
Wolfe and Johnson had been dating for over a year and it’s claimed he bought the ring before they moved to England for his ice hockey career.
She gave an emotional eulogy at his funeral in Minnesota last week – calling him her ‘everything.’
‘You’ve been so amazingly supportive and kind to me since the day we met,’ she said, with her sister alongside her.
‘And I couldn’t have been more grateful for it. I always thought that maybe if I was lucky enough, after a lifetime together, that I might start to be more like you.
‘You’re such a special person, you have the best sense of humor, the biggest heart, the quickest wit and the kindest soul. You’re unbelievably loyal, dedicated and smart. You’re so, so smart.
‘Whether it came to school or life in general, you just seem to have it all figured out, which gave me so much peace and comfort, and made me feel like we could do anything, or be anything, and we’d be OK. We’d be happy.’
Adam Johnson’s girlfriend, Ryan Wolfe, said that the fallen hockey player was her ‘everything’
Wolfe mentioned that he had discussed plans with her of running a farm or starting a coffee shop.
‘I just hope in heaven they let you have your farm, and all the cows and chickens your little heart desires.’
She ended her speech, ‘To me you were everything. you were my home, my best friend, my sounding board, my rock, my safe haven and the love of my life.
‘I’m never gonna stop thinking about you, missing you and loving you until we can be together again. Love you.’
On Tuesday, a man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by South Yorkshire Police in England.
About 8,000 fans watched in horror as attempts were made to save Johnson’s life as he lay bleeding on the ice at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena, shielded by players after the collision with Steelers star Matt Petgrave, before he later died of his injuries in hospital.
Matt Petgrave, pictured while playing for the Utica Comets, was involved in a collision with Johnson on the ice during the match in Sheffield last month
A coroner’s inquest was opened into Johnson’s death last week, before being adjourned until January 2024.
South Yorkshire Police have released a statement confirming that the man remains in police custody after his arrest on Tuesday.
A statement said: ‘Detectives have today (Tuesday November 14) arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter. He remains in police custody at this time.
‘On Saturday 28 October, Adam, aged 29, was seriously injured during a game between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers and was sadly later pronounced deceased in hospital.
‘A post-mortem examination confirmed he died as a result of a fatal neck injury.’
Hundreds of floral tributes have been left at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena over the past few days
The club will play an ‘Adam Johnson Memorial Match’ on Saturday against Manchester Storm
Last weekend, hockey fans showed their support for Johnson and Petgrave at the Sheffield Steelers’ first match since the incident.
In tribute to the Panthers player, more than 8,000 fans observed a moment of silence and a rapturous minute’s applause as players tapped their sticks on the ice ahead of the Steelers’ 2-1 win against Coventry Blaze on Sunday.
Petgrave was not included in the Steelers’ squad to play on the night, but before the match, his picture appeared on the big screen inside the arena, with many fans rising to their feet to applaud the image of the defender.
Fans, players, and members of staff have also gathered to lay floral tributes and sign a book of condolence for Johnson’s family at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena.
The club will be hosting an ‘Adam Johnson Memorial Match’ against Manchester Storm on Saturday.
Following the opening of the inquest, coroner Tanyka Rawden called for neck guards to be made mandatory across the sport.
‘In due course the inquest will consider whether the use of a neck guard or protector could have prevented Mr Johnson’s death,’ Rawden shared.