PUPILS at Sandbach School have been stunned by the sudden death of a Crewe classmate.
An emergency assembly was called at the school on Thursday to announce the untimely death of Year 11 pupil Matthew Potts.
The 16-year-old was found dead at his home on Wednesday evening by his younger brother.
Matthew, who lived on Crewe Green Avenue in Haslington, was a gifted sportsman who represented Great Britain at roller hockey following impressive performances for Crewe Missiles. His father, Ray, was team coach.
He also played for the school hockey team and for Cheshire.
Cheshire Schools and Hockey Association Under-16s manager Janet Sowden said: 'It is such a sad loss.
'Matthew was a valued member of the squad which won the under 15s National Hockey Championships last year. We couldn't have won that without his contribution.
'He was a very successful player, having been selected in the final 25 out of many clubs across Cheshire, Halton, Warrington and parts of Manchester.
'All teams at the championships last weekend took part in a minute's silence for Matthew but our team are still reeling from the news.'
Crewe Vagrants Junior Liaison Officer Chris Steele, who coached Matthew at hockey, added: 'Matthew was such a talented lad. He was very laid-back, never flustered and he always seemed to have a big grin on his face.
'It is all so hard to accept. I coached him for the Under-16s Cheshire team and I could quite safely say that he would have made the first team for Crewe Vagrants in four or five years' time.'
Sandbach School headteacher Peter Wiles paid tribute to a boy he described as 'gifted and intelligent'.
He said: 'Matthew was a popular, intelligent pupil who was also a gifted sportsman.
'He was well-liked by both staff and students.
Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with his family at this moment and with his many close friends.'
An inquest into Matthew's death was opened and adjourned on Friday. Cheshire police said they were called to the address at about 10pm on Wednesday but are not treating the incident as suspicious.
A book of condolence has been opened and placed in the Library Resource Centre at Sandbach School, to be sent to Matthew's parents in due course.
The school has announced a memorial service is to be held for Matthew on Friday, April 22, at 2pm at St Mary's Church in Sandbach for the community to pay its respects.