|Ben Obiora , 16, died |
after he collapsed on
a football pitch during
a match on Saturday
A teenage footballer died after collapsing while playing for his team.
Asthma sufferer Ben Obiora, 16, fell to the pitch during a match. Attempts were made to resuscitate the former FC United ballboy in front of horrified teammates – but they proved unsuccessful and he died after being airlifted to hospital.
Devastated pals have flocked to pay tribute to Ben, who was from New Mills, Derbyshire.
He was described as ‘a terrific young man who loved his football and always had a smile’.
Ben was playing for New Mills Reserves in a match against Blazing Rag in the Hope Valley League on Saturday.
More than 1,000 people have joined a tribute page on Facebook and his school, St Thomas More in Buxton, was opened for stunned former class mates to pay their respects.
Jane Newman wrote: “So shocked and devastated by this tragic news. Ben, you were a bright, charming and cheeky young man.
“You had such a great future to look forward to. You have left a lasting mark on everyone that knew you and you will be missed terribly. Heaven has a bright new angel.”
Head teacher Brendan Hickey, wrote on the school’s website: “I am sorry to report the sad news that Ben Obiora, one of our year 11 students, passed away this afternoon. ”
A spokesman for FC United said: “We are devastated to announce that Ben Obiora, one of our ballboys until quite recently, died. Ben left ballboy duty to play regular Saturday football. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends and two of our current ballboys who are lifelong friends of Ben and played regularly at New Mills FC with him.
“Ben was a terrific young man who loved his football and always had a smile, he will be sadly missed. “
A spokesman for the Hope Valley League said: “Ben Obiara, a Dove Holes player, collapsed at the ground during a game against Blazing Rag. After treatment at the ground from the Air Ambulance, Ben was rushed by ambulance to hospital but tragically he did not revive.
“The League extends their sincere condolences to Ben’s family and friends and would request that all teams hold a period of silence in respect of Ben, a sixteen year old youth from Buxworth who just wanted to play football.”
FC United plan to hold a minute’s silence before their next match as a mark of respect for Ben.
A post mortem is expected to be carried out shortly.