Former West Ham United Ladies and Charlton Athletic Women's footballer Katie Sheppard from Sidcup dies aged 20

This Is Local London: West Ham United fan Katie Sheppard. West Ham United fan Katie Sheppard.

An aspiring semi-professional footballer from Sidcup who played for Charlton Athletic and West Ham United has died aged 20.

Katie Sheppard was found dead on July 2 at her family home in Montrose Avenue.  

Police and ambulance crews were called to the address at just before 5.10pm. 

It is not yet clear how the midfielder died and enquiries continue, though officers are not searching for anyone in connection with her death.

A post-mortem examination and inquest will now take place. 

Katie was a member of the Charlton Athletic Centre of Excellence and played in the women's reserve team before moving to West Ham United Ladies in the third tier of women's football in 2012. 

In November that year she made her debut for the east London side, who play their games in the FA Womens' Premier League Southern Division at Thurrock FC's Ship Lane ground in Essex.

This Is Local London:

Katie during her time at Charlton. 

The former BTEC Sports Science student at Christ the King College: St Mary’s in Sidcup also played for Australian side Melbourne Fusion and for MPS Lady Crusaders in the American state of Massachusetts.

A statement from Charlton Athletic said: "The club were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of former women’s team player Katie Sheppard.

"The thoughts of everyone at Charlton Athletic are with Katie’s family at this difficult time."

Current women’s team manager Stuart Weston, who managed Katie while she played for the reserve side, added: “Katie was a lovely person and a very talented footballer.

Read the latest tributes to Katie here. 

“She was popular with her teammates and she will be missed hugely by everyone who got to know her during her time at Charlton.”

West Ham United tweeted tributes to her this lunchtime, saying: "The thoughts of everyone at #WHUFC are with the family of former @Westhamladies player Katie Sheppard.

"Katie, a midfielder, tragically passed away at the age of 20. She will be missed by everyone at the Club. RIP"

Other tributes to Katie have been flooding the social networking site:

Did you know Katie and would like to leave a tribute? Post below, call 01689 885702 or e-mail tim.macfarlan@london.newsquest.co.uk

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