Youngster’s half-marathon effort in memory of Thrapston footballer Ben

Ben Walker, 15  died of a suspected heart attack mid-way through a football match he was playing. See NTI copy NTITEEN: A talented teenage footballer collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack mid-way through an under 15s match. Tragic Ben Walker, 15, fell on the pitch in front of horrified teammates and onlookers as his side Thrapston Town Juniors FC were playing on Friday (28/4). The sports-mad teen, who was also an avid cricketer, was rushed to hospital but sadly passed away later that day. NNL-170405-133554001
Ben Walker, 15 died of a suspected heart attack mid-way through a football match he was playing. See NTI copy NTITEEN: A talented teenage footballer collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack mid-way through an under 15s match. Tragic Ben Walker, 15, fell on the pitch in front of horrified teammates and onlookers as his side Thrapston Town Juniors FC were playing on Friday (28/4). The sports-mad teen, who was also an avid cricketer, was rushed to hospital but sadly passed away later that day. NNL-170405-133554001

A Poppies youth player will run a half-marathon to mark the first anniversary of the death of his close friend.

Thrapston Town Juniors FC footballer Ben Walker died after suffering a suspected heart attack during a match aged just 15 last year.

Lewis and Ben when they were both in Year 6. NNL-180320-120422005

Lewis and Ben when they were both in Year 6. NNL-180320-120422005

On April 28 - exactly one year since the tragic incident - Ben’s friend Lewis Horne will run more than 13 miles in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Lewis, 16, said: “Me and Benji both went to the same middle school in Thrapston and we were close friends.

“His death was a shock and I wanted to do something for him.

“He was so sporty and he was good at everything – football, athletics, cricket.

Lewis Horne. NNL-180320-120432005

Lewis Horne. NNL-180320-120432005

“A half-marathon seemed the perfect way to remember him.”

In doing so Lewis is raising money for charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), which offers subsidised ECG and echocardiogram screening to all young people between the ages of 14 and 35.

Lewis says each screening costs about £320 and he hopes to be able to support CRY financially.

Lewis, who goes to Prince William School in Oundle and signed for Kettering Town Under-19s recently, said: “After Ben passed away the whole team went to Birmingham to have their heart scanned.

Tributes and flowers at Thrapston Town FC

Tributes and flowers at Thrapston Town FC

“It’s such an important thing these days as you never know what might happen.”

Lewis aimed to raise £500 but has already broken the £1,000 barrier with more than a month until he runs.

He added: “I can’t believe how many people have donated so far.”

To donate to Lewis’ cause, click here.