Former professional footballers's association chairman Clarke Carlisle was airlifted to hospital after an accident involving a lorry.
North Yorkshire Police said a 35-year-old man was taken to hospital but would not confirm the injured male's identity. But many messages on social media wished Carlisle a speedy recovery.
On Monday night North Yorkshire Police confirmed that a 35-year-old man was struck by a lorry on the A64 south of York. They are appealing for witnesses to the collision at around 7.30am.
A spokeswoman said: "The collision involved a male pedestrian and a lorry. The injured man has been airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary with serious injuries.
Our thoughts are with Clarke Carlisle and his family at this time. Sad news! pic.twitter.com/Ax9eiCocCe
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) December 22, 2014
Our thoughts are with former defender Clarke Carlisle and his family following tonight's sad news.
— Leeds United FC (@LUFC) December 22, 2014
"The road was closed to allow the air ambulance to land and to allow collision investigators to examine the scene."
Sections of the road was closed for a number of hours while investigations took place.
Carlisle was considered one of the most intelligent footballers of his generation with 10 Grade A GCSEs. He made more than 500 appearances for nine clubs including QPR, Leeds and Burnley in a career that spanned 16 years and became the first player to appear on Countdown.
In 2002 he was awarded the title 'Britain's Brainiest Footballer' by BBC Sport and also appeared on Question Time.
In September 2013 he released his autobiography You don't know me, but ... a footballer's life, in which he wrote about a suicide attempt after a serious injury sustained during his career.
He wrote: "After gathering all the painkillers I could find, I went to the park and sat on a swing. I sat there a good 20 minutes, tablets in one hand, can of Carling in the other, wondering if anyone would miss me."
Carlisle, who has a wife Gemma and three children, presented a BBC documentary called Football's Suicide Secrets and has talked openly about his own battles with depression.