TRIBUTES have been paid to popular taxi driver Albert Xhediku, who died after he was electrocuted during a game of football on an artificial pitch in Portsmouth.
Yesterday the tragic details surrounding the 34-year-old’s death were revealed by City Wide Taxis, who he had worked for since October last year.
He had been on holiday for two weeks and was due to start work again at the weekend. It’s just sad to think about.City Wide Taxis secretary manager Glenn Madden
City Wide secretary Glenn Madden said Mr Xhediku had rented out the pitch with 10 friends, who also work for the firm, on Sunday to play football.
Mr Madden was told by the group the following morning that the ball was kicked over into a nearby netball court and Albanian-born Mr Xhediku had climbed over the fence to retrieve it.
But when Mr Xhediku came back over, he accidentally touched part of a floodlight tower, causing him to have a massive electric shock.
Mr Madden said the players pulled Mr Xhediku down and attempted CPR before paramedics arrived.
He died later that evening in hospital.
Paying tribute, Mr Madden said: ‘He was a quiet, nice lad. Most of the foreign drivers like him keep to themselves.
We never get any trouble with them. It’s just a shocker.
‘It’s a tragic accident – he had only been with the company since October.
‘He had about 10 friends on this firm and they played football regularly.
‘He had kicked the ball over the fence, he went to get it, he got the ball and on his way back he touched the floodlight tower.
‘They thought he was skylarking around.
‘But they pulled him down, gave him CPR and then called an ambulance.
‘The boys told me the following morning. I knew at 7am what had happened.
‘One of the lads was his cousin.’
‘He had been on holiday for two weeks and was due to start work again at the weekend.
It’s just sad to think about.’
Mr Madden said he was told Mr Xhediku had climbed the fence as the gate to the netball court was padlocked.
Mountbatten operator Parkwood Community Leisure and Portsmouth City Council, which owns the facilities, have declined to comment over what happened while an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Xhediku’s death continues.
Representatives from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents are due to visit the Mountbatten Centre by the end of the week.
Mr Xhediku had a long-term girlfriend, but didn’t have any children.
His body is due to be flown back to Albania.