UP to 4,000 young footballers will this week pay tribute to one of their own.
They are expected to observe a minute’s silence before games in the Huddersfield RCD Junior Football League on Sunday as a mark of respect to Huw Thatcher.
Huw, 15, was the young Hepworth United star who died in hospital after collapsing during a match last weekend.
Unknown to family and friends, the teenager had a brain aneurysm, which could have killed him at any time.
Tragically, it happened during an Under 15 game at Brighouse Town Juniors, when Huw went in for a tackle with a young opponent and collapsed.
His dad Nick, coach Nigel Blowers and a doctor who was among spectators at the game all tried to help him but he was rushed to hospital.
He died on Sunday evening with his family at his bedside.
Now league officials are urging clubs to show their feelings towards Huw.
League secretary Eric Kershaw said: “We hope that every team playing in games this coming weekend will observe a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to Huw.
“It would be a fitting tribute to a talented young player who loved the sport.
“It has come as a terrible shock to everyone involved in junior football in the Huddersfield area. You hear about sad events like this elsewhere but they tend to pass over – this one has brought it home to us all.
“Huw and his father were both well-known and well-respected in local football. It is a genuine tragedy.”
League officials will be at Leeds Road playing fields where several cup games are planned and will join the tributes.
There are 174 RCD games planned for Sunday so there could be 4,000 young players joining in the tributes.
More floral tributes – including many on a football theme – have been placed at Sands recreation ground, Holmfirth, where Huw trained with his Hepworth team-mates.
And students from his class at Holmfirth High School have added to the collection of flowers and tributes in a steady stream of visits to the site.
There have also been thousands of tributes posted on social network sites, including Facebook, You Tube and football websites.
The Facebook site has already attracted more than 2,500 supporters.
“Very sad indeed, devastated a community”
“Totally horrific tragedy”
“Our thoughts are with Huw’s family and the kid who was involved in the challenge. God knows what he must be going through”
“Very sad. My son plays for Brighouse Under 7s and the whole club is devastated”
“Very sad and I hope I never see anything like it again. Huw was a very talented footballer and will be missed by everyone”
“Huw I am so glad I got to know you, I will really miss you”.