Tributes after footballer, 16, dies of undetected diabetes
PUBLISHED: 16:32 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:51 21 April 2020
Tributes have been paid to a 16-year-old Norwich boy who died unexpectedly.
Blake Hale, who had lived on the Larkman estate, off Dereham Road, all his life, died on April 17 from complications of type one diabetes, which had previously gone undetected.
Blake was known as a happy, active teenager who was in the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (CSF) junior football programme from Under 9s to Under 13s.
His parents, Amie and Kevin, said they were devastated by the loss of their son, but consoled by the many messages of support they had received.
They said: “Blake was such a character. Once you met him you couldn’t forget him. It’s been overwhelming how the community has come together for our family.
“We loved our boy so very much but we never imagined just how many other people loved him too.”
Blake was a brother to Brandon, 15, Mia, 11 and Macie, seven, and he had been together with his girlfriend Lily, 16, for over a year.
He played football for teams including Norman Wanderers, Costessey Jets and Wroxham.
Blake was a Chelsea fan, and enjoyed bantering over the Premier League with his dad and brother, who both supported Manchester United.
Kevin said: “He was a talented player with a feisty attitude, this got him spotted by the CSF programme which he also joined.”
Blake was also a keen wrestler, and he and Brandon joined Norwich school, the World Association of Wrestling. The wrestling association has now decided to rename its children’s room the ‘Blake Hale Memorial Room’.
Amie said Blake became unwell when the family was at home on April 15, and he was taken to hospital with “sky-high blood sugar”.
But sadly the damage was too severe, and despite treatment, he died two days later.
Blake’s parents were told any symptoms of type one diabetes he might have shown in the past could have been masked by his ADHD.
Kelly Mason, a family friend, started a fundraising campaign to help with the costs of Blake’s funeral. It has attracted widespread support, including from Norwich City legend Grant Holt, who recorded a video encouraging people to donate.
Amie and Kevin said: “We would like to thank every single person that has donated, from the bottom of our hearts. We cannot express how kind and supportive everyone has been.”
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/blake-hale
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