April 18, 2022 11.59 am This story is over 19 months old

Underwater search for Shrewsbury man ends in heartbreak as body recovered

Nathan had been to watch Shrewsbury play Lincoln City

The body of 21-year-old Nathan Fleetwood, who went missing after attending Shrewsbury’s game with Lincoln City last month, has been found by underwater search teams – as a community’s hearts collectively break.

The 21-year-old was last seen in the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury in the early hours of Sunday, March 27, mere hours after he had attended Shrewsbury’s League One match against Lincoln City at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

A search effort began in his local community as people attempted to locate Nathan, and the appeal reached Lincoln as fans who went to Shrewsbury were encouraged to retrace their steps and see if they could help find him.

The search ramped up some three weeks after his last sighting, with West Mercia Search & Rescue sending out specialist kayak teams to search the river for “a high risk missing person”.

Tragically, the search team confirmed the news nobody wanted to hear, that on April 15, Nathan Fleetwood’s body was found in the river under the Greyfriars Bridge.

West Mercia Search & Rescue deployed searches on nine separate occasions, totalling around 500 hours, in their quest to find Nathan.

A spokesperson for the team said: “On Friday, the team were continuing their search for Nathan Fleetwood, when we located a body in the River Severn. The team were then able to perform a respectful and dignified recovery to bring the body to shore.

“Although no formal identification has taken place, the team would like to send their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Nathan and the wider Shropshire community at this very difficult time.”

Tributes were heartfelt, and Nathan’s beloved Shrewsbury Town will hold a minute’s applause during their game with Doncaster Rovers on Monday, April 18, as a mark of respect for Nathan’s life.