Family ask for applause to celebrate life of Sammy, 11

Tributes have been paid to Larne schoolboy Sammy Haveron, 11, after he collapsed during football training and later died in hospital.
Tributes have been paid to Larne schoolboy Sammy Haveron, 11, after he collapsed during football training and later died in hospital.

The family of a Larne boy who took fatally ill during football training have asked his team to consider giving a minute’s applause at his funeral in celebration of his life.

Sammy Haveron, 11, was a member of the 2007 team at Wellington Rec Youth football club in Larne. He collapsed during training last week and lost his fight to live on Wednesday morning.

Larne schoolboy Sammy Haveron

Larne schoolboy Sammy Haveron

His club has told his teammates via Facebook that his funeral is at noon on Monday in First Larne Presbyterian Church. The club also said that his family have “requested that they would prefer teams did a minute’s applause to celebrate Sammy’s life if they had planned to do so”.

Sammy suffered from a rare condition which sometimes saw his heart run at double the normal rate. But his ex-principal at Linn Primary School, Andrea Duff, said: “He never let it hold him back and lived life to the full. He had a fun-filled 11 years.”

The school awarded their annual Citizenship Award to him in June in recognition of the courage and positivity he displayed in facing his condition.

Former primary seven friends of the popular lad will attend his funeral on Monday wearing the ‘Leavers’ hoodies presented to them by the Parents and Teachers Association as a leaving gift.

Sammy Haveron wearing a top from his football team, Wellington Rec Youth.

Sammy Haveron wearing a top from his football team, Wellington Rec Youth.

Sammy’s parents Edwin and Gina have decided to donate his organs in the hope that “some other mothers and fathers will not have to go though what they are going through” Mrs Duff said.

Dozens of people paid tribute to his parents on social media, one of them a kidney recipient.

Colin Stewart said: “I’ve received a kidney, which was donated. I thank Sammy’s family for such a selfless, courageous act.”

Roz Swan said: “So heartbreaking for the family and yet they are still thinking of others. What wonderful parents they truly are”.

Emma McNeill agreed: “What an amazing thing to do... Shows how caring they are, going through what they are at this awful time.”