Hucknall junior football clubs unite to offer condolences after tragic death of young footballer
Junior football clubs in Hucknall have sent heartfelt sympathies after the death of a young footballer, who collapsed on the pitch, sent shockwaves through the grass-roots game.
On Thursday last week, Dylan Rich, 17, had to be rushed to hospital after the incident during a cup match between West Bridgford Colts and Boston United at Regatta Way in Nottinghamshire.
He was treated with a defibrillator at the ground before paramedics arrived.
The game was abandoned but devastating news broke on Saturday that Dylan had died.
West Bridgford Colts said his death had "left everyone involved with our club devastated and heartbroken".
The news has rocked the junior football scene across the country, not least in Hucknall where there are several clubs and dozens of youth teams.
And those clubs are united in sending their thoughts to those who have been impact ed by the death.
Paul Burley, who is chairman of Hucknall Warriors and represents youth football and communications at Hucknall Town, said: “This is devastating news and the whole local football community sends their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dylan.
"We also send our condolences to everyone connected with West Bridgford Colts FC.
“Whilst this is tragic news for everyone involved thankfully it's a very rare event in youth football. I n this instance the defibrillator alone was not enough to save Dylan, in other circumstances a defibrillator can be a life saver.”We would urge any organisation who has a defibrillator, perhaps housed internally, to consider, if at all possible, making it available to the public in cases of emergency.”
Andy Ainsworth, chairman of Hucknall and Linby Harriers FC, said: "Our thoughts and sympathies firstly go to Dylan's family and, of course, to West Bridgford as a club.
"The grass-roots football scene is a big family and we at Hucknall and Linby Harriers - as well as everyone involved in the game - are affected by such a tragedy.
"We all take the well-being of players very seriously and do everything we can. Those who tried to save Dylan are heroes.
"As a sign of respect we will be asking all of our teams to take part in a minute's silence in honour of Dylan."
Alan Spray, chairman of Hucknall Sports, said: “This is such tragic news and our thoughts are with Dylan's family, friends, club officials and team mates from all at Hucknall Sports Youth Football Club.
“Incidents like this have been in the news far too frequently of late and may be something should be done to screen all players over the age of 14 as this could happen to anyone in junior football.”
A spokesman for West Bridgford Colts told the BBC: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dylan’s parents, Mike and Anna, his sister Lucy and Dylan's family, friends and teammates."
The club also thanked the "wider football community" for their messages over the last few days.
It said it would be supporting players and staff affected by Dylan's death.
The FA added it was “deeply saddened” by the death.