THE devastated family of a well-known South-ampton footballer who died when he was hit by a train have launched a petition calling on rail bosses to improve safety around tracks.

Ryan New died at Bradford on Avon when he was hit by a train after socialising with friends in Wiltshire on August 30 last year.

The 32-year-old, who won 20 medals during his time with Sunday league side Woolston T&L, suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now his family need your help in urging Network Rail to improve safety and stop people wandering onto the tracks by mistake.

His sister Louisa New said they need 10,000 people to sign the online petition before it can be debated in Parliament.

Mother-of-two Louisa, from Southampton, said her brother would still be alive today if there had been fencing to stop him venturing onto the tracks.

She said: “Before Ryan’s death I never noticed trains or accidents. Since then, it is incredible how many deaths there are, and it’s horrendous how many deaths there are across Hampshire.

“The coroner said that my brother’s death could have been prevented, as he was able to access the track.

“Even if he wasn’t drunk and accessed the tracks it would still have happened.

“They are so accessible. If this saves lives, it is a bonus.”

Daily Echo:

Louisa New, Ryan's sister, with her son Jake, three

She said the family were still coming to terms with the death of Ryan, who also played for Sporting BTC, Team Solent, and Veracity Vipers on Saturdays.

Ms New said her two children – Jake, three, and Ella, 10 – miss their uncle, adding: “There is talk about making train fares cheaper but I would rather see the money spent on fencing to save lives.

“We were notified of his death on August 30 and it is still like it was yesterday.

“I don’t think you will ever get over anything like that, you just learn to live with it.

“You think he’s going to walk through the door and I’ll say ‘where have you been?’.

“Something needs to happen now. This petition is not going to bring him back but it could save lives.

“Ten thousand signatures is achievable.

“If everyone on Facebook shares it with their friends list, and they share it around, I think it would take around a month to get to that amount.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Safety is at the heart of everything we do.

“We are committed to keeping our access points safe, with clear signage and warnings, and to raising awareness of the dangers of the railway, through a series of targeted safety campaigns.

“Our thoughts remain with Mr New’s family and friends, following their tragic loss.”

To sign the petition, visit