Hartlepool United devastated as loan star Romoney Crichlow-Noble’s mother Natalie dies in Barbados tragedy
Hartlepool United says it is devastated after the death of loan signing Romoney Crichlow-Noble’s mother Natalie.
The 44-year-old died after being doused with a flammable substance and set alight as she lay in bed in Barbados.
Natalie was visiting family in the West Indies when she was attacked by an unknown intruder in a bedroom.
The mother-of-three, who had survived cancer twice and had two strokes in the past decade, was on a trip to help look after her disabled brother when she was attacked at his home in Christ Church on July 28.
Ms Crichlow suffered 75% burns to her body but died in hospital on August 6, the family say.
Defender Romoney, 20, is currently on loan at Hartlepool from Huddersfield Town.
He tweeted: "Honestly the support my family & I have received the last week has been immense, I can only thank not only the people around me but also all the fans. Thank you!"
A statement on the club’s official website from Chief Executive, Mark Maguire, said: “Everyone at the club was devastated to receive the news of the death of loan player Romoney Crichlow-Noble’s mother, Natalie, in Barbados and we offer our sincere condolences and support.
“Since we heard the news last Friday we have done all we can to support Rom and have been proud of the way the lads have pulled around him.
“As always in circumstances like this, we will be guided by Rom and his family in anything we do or say publicly but it is important that he knows we consider him part of our family and, as such, we will do all we can to help.
“To Rom’s huge credit he has insisted on continuing to work hard in training and has been exemplary in his commitment since the terrible news. His family should be suitably proud of him.
“We know that there is a fundraising effort to help repatriate Rom’s mum and would urge anybody who feels it appropriate to get behind those efforts. As a club, we will certainly make a donation accordingly.
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“Several members of our squad have challenges in recent months with bereavement and I’m proud that, as a club, we pull together in a way that demonstrates what Hartlepool United should be about.
“Our continued thoughts and support are with Rom at this difficult time.”
Natalie’s family say they are "shocked and devastated" by her death.
Her niece Ashley Best told PA: "The intruder broke in the house, then strangled her and then set her alight.
"I do not understand why it happened and we are all in a state of shock. She went into hospital and died of her injuries. For someone who had battled through so much to just be taken in this way and lose their life is just beyond understanding.
"She said she wanted to live life to the fullest because her life had nearly been taken from her."
No arrests have been made, a spokesman for the Royal Barbados Police Force said.
Ms Crichlow, of Colingdale, north London, has three children, aged 10, 20 and 26, who are "devastated" and want to get her back home to Britain for burial.
Ms Crichlow, who was also known by the names of Natalee and Karma, had worked in various jobs including as door staff and as a makeup artist.
Stabroek News in Barbados reported that police are on the hunt for a man who "barged into a house, choked a woman, doused her with a flammable substance and then set the house on fire".
Ms Best said: "Justice needs to be served and our justice is to try and bring her home to rest."
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to try and raise the money needed to bring her body back to Britain.