Teenage footballer dies in his sleep

A TEENAGER with a bright career in football has died in his sleep without any signs he was even ill. Tom Midcalf went to bed as normal on October 30 but the 15-year-old never woke up. His family has paid tribute to the youngster who was the captain of Ax

A TEENAGER with a bright career in football has died in his sleep without any signs he was even ill.

Tom Midcalf went to bed as normal on October 30 but the 15-year-old never woke up.

His family has paid tribute to the youngster who was the captain of Axbridge Saxons and player of the year.

Tom was well-known in sporting circles and in his class at Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar.


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The Shipham student was an avid football player and was described as an 'all-rounder' by his parents, Steve, aged 44, and Rachel.

Rachel, aged 47, said: "Tom will be greatly missed by all his friends and family but will always be remembered for his beauty, talent and humour, and above all, for his tremendous love of life.

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"At some point we want to think about a charity to donate to and do some fund-raising in Tom's name, but we haven't decided anything definite yet because we want to make sure it is something appropriate. We were thinking about a sports charity or fund for men who suddenly pass away."

Tom and his sister Lucy, aged 13, were 'great mates' at their home in Gruffies Hollow Road, which the family moved to from Exeter when Tom was three years old.

The former Shipham First and Fairlands Middle School pupil was also an exceptional artist and loved skiing at Avon Ski Centre in Churchill and playing rugby in the school team. But his first love was always football.

Axbridge Town Football Club chairman Mike Randall said: "The team extends its deepest sympathy to the family. Tom was a great player for the Saxons and we would have considered him for a Town player when he was an adult.

"His Saxon team mates are devastated about his death because it was so sudden."

Members of the junior team will be laying a wreath at Tom's funeral and held a tribute training session to him on Saturday.

Mr Randall said: "We are thinking of putting together some sort of memorial trophy or annual award in Tom's name."

Rachel added: "We have already received countless heartfelt tributes to Tom this week and everyone has been very supportive."

An inquest into Tom's death was opened on November 1 by West Somerset coroner Michael Rose and a hearing will be held, pending investigation, in 2008. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

The family will hold a service of celebration and thanksgiving for Tom's life at the Church of St Leonard today (Thurs) at 12noon.

*To leave a tribute for Tom log on to www.thewestonmercury.co.uk and click on the obituaries section.

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