Tributes to talented young sportsman who died after game

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PLAYERS and officials of Brighouse Town Football Club are in shock after the death of a popular young footballer.

As tributes poured in, the under-15s team is postponing its game in the League Cup semi-finals this weekend as a mark of respect.

Huw Thatcher, aged 15, was playing for Hepworth United under-15s in a match at St Giles Road, Hove Edge, when he was injured on Sunday.

He is understood to have suffered a brain aneurysm which could have ruptured at any time.

His parents, Nick and Jenny, said they wanted to stress that what happened to their son was not connected to events on the pitch and that no Brighouse Town junior players should feel responsible.

Manager of the Brighouse team Nigel Meredith said players on both sides were deeply affected by what happened.

“We cannot imagine what it is like for the opposition who were his friends and team mates. It must be terrible for them.”

He added: “We have talked to some of the parents of our team and they don’t feel their sons are ready to start playing football again.

“Out of respect for Huw and his family the match this weekend will be postponed.”

Ray McLaughlin, vice-chairman of Brighouse Town FC said: “On behalf of everyone associated with Brighouse Town I would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Huw.”

Hepworth United had planned a fund-raising event for tomorrow night to raise money to pay their league fees for next season. This event has been cancelled but spectators who will watch Brighouse Town’s game to Scarborough on Saturday will be asked to contribute to a collection which will take place after half-time to go towards their fees.

Mr McLaughlin said: “They will have many issues to deal with. Hopefully not having to worry about money for next season is something we can help them with.”

The Holmfirth High School student collapsed after the tackle which happened 15 minutes into the second half. He was treated at the scene by a doctor before being rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. He died on Sunday night.

His father, who is also team manager for Hepworth United, was on the touchline.

“Huw was a strong, tall boy with a huge heart. He was a very popular person and adored by hundreds of people, many of whom laid floral tributes, football shirts and photographs in Holmfirth on Monday,” he said.

For the full story see the Brighouse Echo 17-03-11