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Pals lead tribute to young athlete

HUNDREDS of mourners packed a church to say farewell to a young athlete who died while running a race at his school sports day.

Lee Price

HUNDREDS of mourners packed a church to say farewell to a young athlete who died while running a race at his school sports day.

St Chad's Church at Over was filled to capacity as a community was united in grief for 14-year-old Lee Price, who died at Leighton Hospital after collapsing during the 1,500m race at Woodford Lodge High School on July 6.

Mourners entered the church to the strains of Leanne Rymes' How Can I Live Without You.

Rev Jerry Sutton told them: 'How can I live without you ­ that is the question that we have all been asking ourselves this week. Lee's life was very special.'

Clare Addison, Lee's form teacher at Woodford Lodge High School, choked with emotion as she told the mourners: 'Lee was so very special. He was always my favourite, but none of the others minded because he was their favourite too.

'There will be many people who live until 90 who will never touch as many people as Lee. He was that feel-good feeling. Whenever you looked at Lee and saw his smile things looked better.

'One of my pupils said Lee never upset anyone. I know why Lee was so lovely ­ it was because he was so loved, by his family and his friends. Although he lived such a short time he had done so much, his life was an example to us all.'

Lee's pal Jason McAuley, 15, paid tribute to his friend in his own way by performing a moving version of the REM song Everybody Hurts on the acoustic guitar.

There was not a dry eye in the church as Jason finished his song, but Mr Sutton lifted spirits by talking of how Lee was a joker and a 'lad'.

Mr Sutton told the congregation : 'He had a real lust for life. He taught others that. Live it to the full like he lived it.'

Mr Sutton then played the OMD hit Heaven Is A Halfpipe, one of Lee's favourites. Lee was laid to rest at Weaver Methodist Church.

Earlier in the week the Price family had been overwhelmed by the amount of floral tributes they had received.

They said: 'Gaynor, John and John sincerely wish to thank all relatives, friends and neighbours for their kind expressions of sympathy extended to them in their recent sad bereavement.

'Also for their beautiful floral tributes and generous donations to the British Heart Foundation received in memory of Lee.'

A post-mortem examination revealed that Lee, who would have turned 15 on Monday, died from natural causes. The official cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which means he had an an abnormal heart.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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