A DRIVER has denied causing the death of a talented young footballer in a hit-and-run near Malvern in October last year.

Stephen Hill, of Birts Street, Bishmorton, near Malvern, ap-peared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge of causing the death of Jonathan Palmer by dangerous or inconsiderate driving on the A438 in the early hours of Monday, October 28 last year.

The 21-year-old was killed after being hit by a car outside the Duke of York pub in Berrow, where he worked as a chef, at about 1.50am.

Hill, aged 34, opted to be tried at magistrates court.

The case was adjourned until Friday, May 2, while CCTV and witness statements are reviewed.

He was bailed on the condition that he has no contact with Mr Palmer’ s family.

As previously reported Mr Palmer – known to many as Jon – was a former pupil of Hanley Castle High School and had played for West Bromwich Albion Academy and Gloucester City AFC under-18s.

He was in his fourth season with Hanley Swan Football Club when he died.