Teenager collapses and dies while playing football at Great Yarmouth College

Ryan Medhurst, 19, who died while playing football on Monday, February 29. Picture: Supplied

Ryan Medhurst, 19, who died while playing football on Monday, February 29. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

A family has paid tribute to a 19-year-old college student who died suddenly while playing football.

Ryan Medhurst, 19, who died while playing football on Monday, February 29. Picture: Supplied

Ryan Medhurst, 19, who died while playing football on Monday, February 29. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

Ryan Medhurst was playing at Great Yarmouth College when he collapsed on the pitch and died on Monday.

His sister, Leanne Hawkins, 25, said: 'He was the most kind, loving, friendly young man. He was only 19 years old and everyone loved him.

'He loved listening to his music and playing on his PlayStation and he loved being an uncle to his only nephew.

'He had learning difficulties but it never stopped him doing what he had his heart set on.'

Leanne said the family was now trying to raise awareness of Ryan's death as it was so sudden and there were no warning signs.

Ryan attended Cromer High School before he started his foundation studies course at college.

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He lived in Cobholm with his parents David and Linda Medhurst, and he was a brother to Leanne and Stacey Hawkins and uncle to one-year-old Joshua.

A funding page has been set up to help towards the cost of his funeral and so far around £200 has been raised.

Stuart Rimmer, principal and chief executive of the college, said: 'Ryan was a very popular foundation studies student.

'Talking to colleagues who taught Ryan he was a caring young man who always sought to support his fellow students.

'He had made enormous progress over the last year and had become more mature and caring and was known for his energy around campus and in particular his enthusiasm for music. He will be dearly missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

'Our staff and the emergency services responded promptly and professionally. The college commends them all for their professionalism and thanks them for their support on behalf of the family, who also attended the scene.

'We are now doing all we can to support the staff and students affected by this very tragic incident including direct access to the college's counselling support service.

'Our thoughts and condolences are with Ryan's family and friends at this extremely sad time.'

A spokesman for the ambulance service said they were called just after 3.55pm on Monday to reports of a teenager who had been playing football and had collapsed.

They were on the scene in under eight minutes, and found Ryan had gone into cardiac arrest. Despite the efforts of the ambulance crews he died at the scene.

The spokesman said that sadly Ryan could not be resuscitated and sent their condolences to his family on behalf of the ambulance service.

The death has been reported to the Norfolk coroner's office.

To donate towards the costs of Ryan's funeral, go to: www.gofundme.com/ba57zs

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