Boy, 13, dies after collapsing on football pitch moments after celebrating goal in front of family
Tributes flood in for football-mad teenager
Liam Wood died from a seizure while playing football on Sunday morning
A 13-year-old footballer died on the pitch just moments after celebrating a goal in front of his family.
Liam Wood had just scored for his local team AFC Saints when he had a seizure on the pitch at Knutton, Staffordshire on Sunday morning.
The school boy from Chesterton, was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire by ambulance but died shortly after arriving.
Club manager Mark Lawton today led tributes to what he called 'a smashing lad'.
He said: 'He was brilliant, he loved football. It is an absolute tragedy and we are all still in shock.'
Liam had earlier been substituted but returned to the pitch after asking to play up front.
He scored the fifth goal just before the referee blew the final whistle in a 5-0 win over Stafford Falcons. He then ran over to celebrate with his father and grandfather but collapsed as he walked back for the restart.
A parent desperately tried to resuscitate him while an ambulance was called.
Mr Lawton, a civil servant, from Bradwell, added: 'Liam went to school with my son Joseph. Every time he came to training he would get the balls out and couldn’t wait to play. You couldn’t meet a nicer lad. He was an athletic kid, short, but he could run.'
The club is now asking anyone who knew Liam to lay flowers at the playing fields off Cotswold Avenue where the team play.
Liam Wood from Chesterton, was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire by ambulance but died shortly after arriving
Peter Hemming, secretary of the Potteries Junior Youth League for the past three years, said the local footballing community was in shock.
The full-time engineer, of Sneyd Green, said: 'It is every parent’s worst nightmare and it shocks you to the core. We would like to pass our condolences to family at this difficult time.'
Friends have set up a Facebook page in Liam's memory.
Liam’s friends have also been asked to bring flowers and candles to school and place them at a bench by a tree where he used to sit.
His friend Joshua Lowndes wrote on the Facebook page: 'Gone but never forgotten mate, your family will always remember you for being a footballing expert.'
Amanda Francis wrote: 'R.I.P Liam. such a tragic thing to happen. Im sure he will be playing footie up there with the angels! My thoughts with family and friends.'
Sian Watts posted: 'R.I.P Little Man, thought are with your friends and family. You did them proud scoring before you sadly passed away. They’ll always love you, people will never forget you! xx'
Lisa Warren said: 'Such a sad loss! Too young to be taken! at least ur up there knowin u scored ur last goal yesterday! R.I.P little man! My thoughts go out to ur friends & family! Sleep tight angel Xxxx'