Teammates of an 11-year-old footballer who died after collapsing during a training session formed a guard of honour as his coffin was carried for his funeral today.
Sammy Haveron, a footballer with Wellington Rec Youth in Larne, passed away on Wednesday. He had been treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital after collapsing during a training session the previous week.
He was laid to rest at Larne Cemetery, following a funeral service at First Larne Presbyterian Church, Inver at noon.
Sammy was due to start secondary school this autumn and was a past pupil of Linn Primary School.
After the funeral, Linn Primary School said in a statement: “Our school community joined together to celebrate the short but full life of Sammy Haveron. It was a privilege to know Sammy. Sammy loved life and everybody loved Sammy.”
Gary Morrow, chairman of Wellington Rec Youth, described the funeral as “a fantastic service fitting for a fantastic young man”.
Writing on social media website Facebook, Mr Morrow said: “Sammy Haveron will always be part of the club and the 2007 team every time they step on the pitch. We will continue to work closely with Sammy’s family over the coming weeks and months to make sure they are getting the best possible support.”
He added: “We thank everyone again for their continued support and efforts.”
The Haveron family had requested young players wear as many football jerseys and tracksuits as possible to celebrate his life.
Wellington Rec Youth players formed a guard of honour as his coffin was carried out of the packed church.
UUP councillor Andrew P Wilson said the local community would continue to rally around the Haveron family following Sammy’s tragic death.
“Anybody who is a parent can empathise with the pain that the family must be going through,” he said.
“It has touched the whole community, particularly the sporting community in the Larne area. I am sure the wider community will continue to rally around the family.”
Sammy is described in a family notice as “loving son of Edwin and Gina and brother of Lewis and Frankie”.