Highlands & Islands

Highlands man dies after being hit by lightning in Florida

Garry Perks Image copyright facebook
Image caption Garry Perks died after being struck by lightning

A former amateur footballer from the Highlands has died after being struck by lightning on a Florida beach.

Garry Perks, 32, was taken to hospital in a critical condition after he and seven others were hit on Clearwater Beach, near Tampa, last Sunday.

He suffered a cardiac arrest and died on Wednesday.

The expat was living in New Port Richey having moved from Tain in the Highlands - he previously played for Tain Thistle and Brora Rangers.

'Club legend'

According to the National Weather Service, which has listed Mr Perks' death, 10 people have been killed by lightning strikes in the US this year.

Since the incident, Clearwater Fire and Rescue services have warned locals to seek shelter during thunderstorms - which have become a common occurrence in the area.

Friends and former teammates paid tribute to Mr Perks who they said would be "greatly missed".

Image copyright CBS
Image caption Police attended Clearwater Beach following the lightning strike earlier this week

A spokesperson for Tain Thistle tweeted: "Everyone connected to Tain Thistle is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of club legend Garry Perks.

"We are all thinking of Garry's friends and family in both Scotland and in the United States.

"He will be greatly missed by all who played with him or enjoyed watching him. He was someone who created and left us with so many memories.

"The club will look to work with Garry's family in the coming weeks to decide on a fitting tribute."