Dozens of balloons were released on an emotionally-charged evening yesterday (Saturday) in memory of teenager James Hick who was found collapsed and bleeding in Mirfield last Wednesday morning.
Members of the public made desperate efforts to save the popular 14-year-old who was on his way to Mirfield Free Grammar School, but to no avail.
The coroner’s office in Bradford is now conducting an investigation into what happened on Southway but it is understood there are no suspicious circumstances.
James was an extremely talented bowler and it was only fitting that his friends and colleagues on the bowling circuit would wish to pay tribute to him.
So, on Saturday evening, Huddersfield Junior Inter District A team played Huddersfield Junior Inter District B team at Almondbury Liberal club.
James played for all three junior inter district teams in his bowling career and was also a junior bowling member at Almondbury Bowling Club and Almondbury Liberal Club.
The event, which attracted more than 150 people, was attended by James’s heartbroken parents, Louise and Michael, as well as other members of his family and friends.
A minute’s silence was held before the game.
Michael, a father of five boys, of whom James was the eldest, said: “I would like to thank his friends from bowling, his friends from high school and the teachers at Mirfield Free Grammar, the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice and the wider community in Mirfield for all their support and kindness at this very difficult time. They have really supported us and it’s been overwhelming to be honest.”
He said no funeral arrangements could be made until the necessary formalities with the coroner’s office had been completed.
James’s grandad, Phillip Thompson, who lives in Netherton, said: “We were very close and we were both keen Town fans. We had been going to Leeds Road together since he was around five-years-old. He was a season ticket holder and never wanted to miss a game.
“He was a very popular boy and we were all touched by the vigil held recently by his school friends. We’re still waiting to find out precisely what happened. He was as fit as a fiddle and used to run everywhere and as well as the bowling he enjoyed rugby as well.”
Geoff Martin, secretary of Huddersfield Junior Bowling Association and manager of the Almondbury Liberal Club junior team, said: “It gave everyone the opportunity to talk about young James, how much he was liked, how good a bowler he was and how much he will be missed.”
The Liberal Club ran a raffle, a ‘bowl at bottle’ competition, and there were tasty treats on offer from the kitchen. Any profits will go towards The Justgiving Facebook page, set up in memory of James.