Special match to honour Liam, 14

IPSWICH: United in grief they will play in honour of their treasured team-mate.

The friends and fellow football squad members of Liam Sadler, a 14-year-old who died after a tragic incident, are preparing to pay their own special respects to the teen after he died at Ipswich Hospital on June 10.

He passed away at the Critical Care Unit five days after emergency services were called to his home in Beechcroft Road to reports he was suffering cardiac arrest after a tragic incident.

Family and friends of the popular 14-year-old will be saying their own goodbyes today at his funeral.

And his football friends are hoping to pay their own tribute by organising a memorial match. Liam was passionate about football, playing for his school, Westbourne Sports College, on Saturdays for Westbourne Athletic under 14s team and on Sundays for Ipswich Exiles.

His manager and friend at the Exiles, Geoff Claxton said Liam’s team mates and everyone involved with the club was “shell-shocked”.

“I don’t know how we will cope without him,” he said. “We have all found it very hard to come to terms with. Liam was a bright, happy, cheeky lad.

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“In his first season he was my manager’s player of the season, he was a key part of the team.”

Playing as a defensive midfielder, Liam had been a member of the club for the last three years, helping them win a cup final as well as the league this year.

Teachers at Westbourne Sports College also paid their tribute to the “cheeky chap”, who was a “real pleasure to teach”.

Deputy headteacher Dave Lee-Allan said: “We at Westbourne Sports College are deeply saddened to hear of the sudden and unexpected death of Liam, one of our Year 9 students.

“Liam was a popular, energetic, polite young man and someone who always had a smile on his face.

“Liam was academically strong, however his passion was football.”

Acting headteacher Trenica King added: “Our thoughts are with those closest to Liam. As a school community we feel privileged to have taught and known Liam over the last three years and are proud of all his achievements, both in and out of school.”

Liam’s funeral is taking place today at St Mary and St Botolph’s Church in Whitton, followed by an interment at the Millennium Cemetery.

His family have asked for donations in his name to the Critical Care Ward at Ipswich Hospital, care of Hunnabull’s funeral directors, Dove House, 291 Norwich Road, IP1 4BP or call 01473 748808.

n Would you like to pay tribute to Liam? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.