English Footballer Derrick Otim Dies After Drowning In US Lake Aged 24

by : Emily Brown on : 05 Jul 2020 18:18


Former Nottingham Forest midfielder Derrick Otim has passed away after drowning while visiting friends in Lake Keowee, South Carolina. 

The 24-year-old had played for the Reds’ academy before leaving the club in 2015 and going to the United States, where he attended Xavier University in Ohio.


Derrick graduated in May this year and was reportedly visiting friends at the lake on Friday, July 3, when the incident took place.

According to Pickens County coroner, as cited by iongreenville, the drowning happened at the Cliffs boat ramp on Lake Keowee at around 5.40 pm.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is now said to be investigating the incident.

Tributes for the English-born Ghanaian football player have been pouring in since the news of his death broke, with his former team acknowledging the loss on Twitter.

Nottingham Forest Tweeted:

Rest in peace, Derrick.

NFFC are saddened to learn of the passing of former academy player Derrick Otim. The thoughts of everyone at the club go out to his friends and family at this tragic time.


Derrick’s brother, Elvis, shared a picture of the 24-year-old on Instagram and described him as his ‘best friend’, a ‘brother’, ‘role model’ and ‘inspiration’.

He added: ‘Can’t think of enough words to describe you. We love you. You’re in a better place. RIP.’

Matty Cash, who currently plays for Nottingham Forest, wrote:

RIP Del , can’t believe I’m writing this. Such a top lad who always brought a smile to everyone’s face when around him.

Another Twitter user, who appears to have been one of Derrick’s friends, commented:

My heart is breaking Dez.. For you, for your family & all your many many friends. A smile that could light up any room. A personality that noone could pick faults with.

The kindest most gentle soul i ever had the pleasure of meeting. Rest easy my wonderful friend.

In 2018, US news outlet The State described Lake Keowee as ‘one of the Upstate’s most prized summertime recreation spots’, as well as ‘one of the deadliest.’

Data cited from the Oconee County Coroner’s Office revealed that at the time, at least 32 people had died on the lake within the past 25 years. Of the fatalities, 17 were at a popular swimming and boating spot known as Fall Creek Landing, which features a rock outcropping used for jumping into the lake.


The lake is man-made and was built more than 50 years ago.

Our thoughts are with Derrick’s friends and family at this tragic time. Rest in peace.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Derrick Otim, Football, Lake Keowee, Nottingham Forest, Now, South Carolina