More than 1,000 people attended a football match on Tuesday evening to pay tribute to the memory of a Corby youngster who died last week.
Thomas McNamee, 10, died after collapsing at Studfall Junior School last Thursday (October 23).
Since then, hundreds of people have paid tribute to the youngster; at his school, where floral tributes and football shirts were left, online, where heartfelt comments of support for his family have been posted, and at Corby S&L on Tuesday evening when the team played their match against Rothwell Corinthians.
More than 1,000 people attended the match after the club announced that the proceeds would be given to Thomas’ family.
The club said the money was aimed at helping the family financially during a difficult period.
A total of about £4,000 was collected during the match, which was won by Rothwell.
Thomas played for S&L’s under-11 team and before kick-off, his team-mates joined the senior players carrying balloons which they released on the pitch.
The match was preceded by a minute’s applause, at the request of Thomas’ family, and Ryan Hall, the manager of the under-11s, came on as a substitute wearing the number 3 shirt – the same number Thomas wore.
Corby S&L chairman John Davies said the club would be organising another fundraising event in the near future and the proceeds of that would go to a children’s charity of Thomas’ family’s choice.
After the match, Mr Davies said: “This tragedy shocked everyone at the club but I am so proud of the way everyone pulled together to organise this in five days. The response was amazing and I can’t thank people enough. It really was a community event.”
Speaking the day after Thomas’ death, teachers at Studfall Primary School paid tribute to the youngster who they said was full of energy, kind and thoughtful.
Head teachers Louise McGeachie and Kim Kirchin said: “Thomas was full of energy, had a mischievous sense of humour as well as being a kind and thoughtful member of the school.
“He was a great friend and we all loved his cheeky, happy personality. Thomas represented Studfall wonderfully in many aspects of school life.
“However, his particular passion was his football both in and out of school.
“Staff and children will miss this amazing boy – he is a huge loss to Studfall and his family. Our thoughts and love are with his family at this tragic time.”
Friends of Thomas hung a banner outside the school last week and left tributes.