Tributes paid to 'courageous' young footballer

Wellington Rec.
Wellington Rec.

Tributes have flooded in for a young footballer from Larne who sadly passed away this morning.

Sammy Haveron (11) was a member of the 2007 team at Wellington Rec Youth in the town.

It is understood the schoolboy was being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital after collapsing during a training session last week.

A statement posted on the club's Facebook page this afternoon read: "Unfortunately this morning young Sammy Haveron lost his fight. We as a club are devastated to lose Sammy, who was a very valued member of the 2007 team. Sammy loved his football and loved Wellington Rec, which was clear to see in training and in matches.

"Our thoughts go out to Eddie, Gina and the family at this devastating time."

Sammy was due to start secondary school this autumn and was a past pupil of Linn Primary School.

In a statement, the school expressed their sympathies to the family of Sammy, a "much loved and courageous pupil".

Andrew Ritchie, vice-principal at Linn added: "Sammy played football at the school and he was a very popular pupil. He was a lovely boy, a pleasure to teach."

A number of local sporting clubs posted their own tributes on social media, including Larne Youth FC. "Clearly a popular young man, many of our coaches and players know Sammy through football and outside the white lines of the football pitch," the club said.

"Football is full of rivalry and fierce competitiveness. At times like this however, that all pales into insignificance and as part of the wider football family we surround our friends at Wellington Rec to provide them with our support and comfort in this time of great sadness."