Mark Philo

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Mark Philo
Personal information
Full name Mark William Philo
Date of birth (1984-10-05)5 October 1984
Place of birth Bracknell, England
Date of death 14 January 2006(2006-01-14) (aged 21)
Place of death Reading, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
West Ham United
Crystal Palace
1999–2003 Wycombe Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Wycombe Wanderers 17 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Mark William Philo (5 October 1984 – 14 January 2006) was an English professional footballer. He spent his whole professional career at Wycombe Wanderers making 17 first team appearances. He died on 14 January 2006 following a road traffic collision. An inquiry into the crash, which also resulted in the death of the driver of another car, found that it was caused by Philo driving whilst intoxicated by alcohol.


Philo was born in Bracknell, Berkshire and joined Wycombe at the age of 15,[1] having been on the books of both West Ham United and Crystal Palace. He made his debut for the Wycombe first team in February 2004 under Tony Adams and signed a contract until the summer of 2005, which was extended to June 2007 by John Gorman. He played a total of 17 matches for the club's first team.[2]


Philo suffered two broken ankles in consecutive years reducing the games he played for the club severely, first a broken right ankle then a hairline fracture to his left leg in a pre-season game before the 2005/'06 season.


Mark Philo died on 14 January 2006 after sustaining serious head injuries in a road traffic collision.[2] A Vauxhall Astra being driven by Philo collided head on with a Renault Megane at the junction of Sandhurst Road and Finchampstead Road in Wokingham, Berkshire at about 1:20am.[2] The driver of the Megane, 58-year-old Patricia Gammon,[3] was declared dead at the scene.[2] Philo was rushed to Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, but died from his injuries later that day.

Wycombe manager John Gorman paid tribute to him by saying, "He was a fantastic kid. He lived for football and always had a smile on his face."[2] The Wycombe players held up a banner for Philo after their League Cup game against Chelsea at Adams Park.


Police investigations revealed that Philo was significantly over the drink-drive limit at the time of the accident.[3] He had been drinking with two friends in the Golden Retriever pub in Wokingham, from 8.30pm until closing time. Philo and his friends then drove off to look for another bar and ended up at The Gig House, where they stayed drinking for another hour.[3] It was estimated that by the time the group left that venue, Philo had consumed six or seven pints of lager.[3] According to an eyewitness, Philo was travelling above the speed limit when he veered on to the wrong side of the road and into Mrs Gammon's Megane and then a telegraph pole, where he suffered horrific injuries resulting in his death 15 hours later. Mrs Gammon, a mother of two, was killed instantly.[3]

PC Andrew Bryant, the collision investigation officer, confirmed that Mark Philo's car was on the wrong side of the road when the smash happened. He said: "The blame for this collision appears to lie with the driver of the Vauxhall Astra. Excess alcohol and driving over the centre of the road were contributing factors. As soon as you exceed the alcohol limit your ability to drive is significantly impaired."[3]


  1. ^ "Fans mourn Philo". BBC Local: Beds, Herts & Bucks. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Wycombe's Philo dies after crash". BBC Sports. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Football star had 7 pints before fatal crash". This Is Local London. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 16 March 2012.

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