A popular schoolboy who died suddenly was a ‘shining light’ to all who knew him, his devastated grandfather has said.
14-year-old James Hick collapsed on his way to school yesterday morning (Weds) and sadly died.
His death has ‘blitzed’ his family and shocked the wider community who have responded by laying floral tributes and candles at the scene where the tragedy struck in Southway, Mirfield.
Speaking through tears as he looked at the tributes, his grandfather Harold Hick described the youngster as a ‘shining light’.
The 73-year-old said: “All I would like to say is that he was a shining light. It has taken the feet from right under me.
“James was a fun loving child, he was very popular. He went to Mirfield Free Grammar and had been walking with friends.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, it is a void that none of us know at this time.
“He was not just a grandson to me, he was a mate.’
He revealed he had to break the devastating news to the teenager’s four younger brothers.
Mr Hick added that the news of James’ death has ‘blitzed the family.’
Visibily upset, he said: ‘His brothers obviously know what is happening now.
“I came round here last night and we walked round and saw the three bunches of flowers there. It is a tremendous tribute.’
Glen Le Mont coached James for six years at Battyford Sporting Club and said the whole community is devasted by his death.
Glen said: “My son Zach was friends with James and he and his friends are all absolutely distraught. Such a tragic loss of a young life.”
Zach provided a focal point for tributes by placing a photo of James and his team mates when they won the Under 12 league two years ago.
Glen said: “James liked football and played right midfield.
“He also played rugby at school. He left after under 12s and took up Crown Green Bowling.
“When we heard what had happened my son wanted to go and pay his respects and we have a photo on our wall from two years ago when they won the league.
“I took it off the wall and he decided to take it and was going to get some of his friends to sign the back of it.”
Mirfield Free Grammar has also released a statement expressing their condolences today (Thurs), which reads: ‘Staff, students and governors are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students.
‘James was a wonderful, much loved young man, who had many friends.
‘Our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.’