Northampton

Aston Villa fans' applause for collapse death teenager

Under-15s team Image copyright Thrapston Town FC
Image caption Ben Walker, front row far left, played for Thrapston Town Juniors

A teenage footballer who died during a game was remembered with honour by the crowd at a Championship match.

Ben Walker, 15, collapsed when playing for Thrapston Town Juniors on 28 April.

He supported Aston Villa and fellow fans called for applause in the 15th minute of the game against Brighton - to mark the time Ben collapsed.

Fans shared the appeal on social media and Villa welcomed the move with a retweeted message to 957,000 followers before the game which ended 1-1.

"The Aston Villa family have come together on numerous occasions this season to remember their own," a club spokesman said.

"We were all saddened to hear that Ben had tragically passed away and we would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this sad time."

Image copyright Twitter/@AVFCOfficial
Image caption The appeal for a minute's applause has been widely shared on social media

Family friend, Aaron Clipston started the campaign and said: "I'm amazed and overwhelmed by the level of support it's had from Villa and Brighton fans.

"The family are fully behind it and I know Ben would have loved it."

Thrapston Town Juniors said he died doing the thing he loved. Flowers and football shirts have been left by friends at the club on Chancery Lane.

A fundraising page set up to raise money for a memorial to Ben and to support his family has raised more than £10,000.

Nick Price, from the club, who set it up said: "It was my way of supporting the family. Nobody plans for a child's funeral. This was something I could do to help.

"No firm decision has been made about a permanent memorial. It's something we're thinking about."

Ben also played cricket for Thrapston Cricket Club, which described him as a "promising wicket-keeper and batsman".

Image caption Teenagers who knew Ben left flowers and football shirts as tributes

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