Local News

11-year-old daughter of former Revs goalie killed in S.C. boating accident

"Our family is still in shock at the sudden and tragic loss of our beautiful and brilliant daughter, Olivia."

New England Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton makes a save on a shot from a CF Montreal player, July 25, 2021. Mary Schwalm / AP, File

Olivia Knighton, the 11-year-old daughter of longtime New England Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton, died in a boating accident in South Carolina on Wednesday, according to authorities there and the family.

Olivia, of Attleboro, Massachusetts, died at McLeod Seacoast Hospital after the midday incident on Intracoastal Waterway near Little River, according to an email from the Horry County Coroner’s Office. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is investigating, the coroner’s office said.

Twelve people were on a 23-foot boat at the time of the incident, according to SCDNR, when “the boat was rocked by a large wake caused by another boat, resulting in nine of the 12 occupants going overboard.”


Olivia “was struck by a propeller and later died of her injuries,” the agency said. “Nobody else was injured in the incident.”

“We are in the process of a detailed inquiry that includes collecting witness statements, examining the boat and working to develop a complete picture of what happened,” the agency continued.

Brad Knighton posted a brief statement on social media, saying, “There are no words to express the depth of our profound grief and sorrow in this moment.”

“Our family is still in shock at the sudden and tragic loss of our beautiful and brilliant daughter, Olivia, to an unfortunate boating accident yesterday,” he continued. “We are all still in disbelief that her bright and pure light was taken away from us so suddenly.”

“Olivia loved soccer and the Revolution with all of her heart,” he added. “Our family always felt your support behind us during my career. We will need you and your prayers with us now more than ever.”

Brad Knighton announced his retirement earlier this year after a 16-year career, 12 of which were with the Revs. He’s now the head coach of the Revolution’s U19 academy team.

Last November, he celebrated Olivia’s 11th birthday on Instagram:

The Revs also remembered Olivia on social media.


“Olivia was a bright and shining light who was a beloved presence around the Revolution throughout her entire life, always bringing a warm smile and laugh to Gillette Stadium and our training facility when she would visit,” the team said in a statement. “Her sudden loss leaves a profound hole in our hearts.”


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