Young Leicester City fan collapsed and died after becoming upset team lost a match


A young Leicester City football fan collapsed and died after becoming upset when his team lost an FA Cup replay, his parents believe.

Tom Bedford, 16, was watching the match between his team and Tottenham on a TV in his bedroom when he told his mum he was struggling to breathe.

His parents thought he had got carried away after the Foxes went down 2-0 to Spurs and called an ambulance.

By then the teenager had collapsed and his dad was giving him CPR, but neither he nor medics could save him.

Tributes have flooded in for the teenager who has been described as “a lovely boy” who had a bright future ahead of him.

Now Tom’s parents, John and Helen have been told his death was caused either by arrhythmia -irregular heart beat – or a blood clot and are urging parents to get their children tested.

Tom’s heart is undergoing tests at a specialist centre in London, but it could be several months before the exact cause of death is known.

Dad John, 48, also a fan, was watching the game downstairs because “they had a tendency to wind each other up” while watching football.

He said: “He burst into the room after the second goal had gone in, he was upset and he told me so – the game was still going on. I heard Helen shout me from upstairs.”

Mum Helen, 48, said: “He said he couldn’t breathe, because he did take the game so seriously.”

After he collapsed on January 20 Tom was rushed from his home in Thurcaston to Leicester Royal Infirmary, but he later died.

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Dad John added: “It was the worst thing a parent could ever have to do and to see your child get slowly worse in front of you. It was awful. I couldn’t believe what was happening.

“It was intense, it was unfair and it was wrong.”

He added: “One of the doctors came out and said they’d tried everything they possibly could and there was nothing else they could do.”

Helen added: “He was just a lovely lad, he was family orientated and he was just my boy. We have been advised by the coroners office that it was either an undetected arrhythmia or a blood clot.

“Between 12- 15 children are lost each week in the UK from arrhythmia. A simple ECG can detect the problem. We don’t offer this in the UK to parents.

“In Italy where screening is now done on young athletes, the death rate has reduced in that group by 90 per cent.

“Our son’s life is worth more than the £40 cost of an ECG. While we may have to wait for up to six months to find out the cause of us losing Tom, another 400 lives could be ripped apart in that time due to arrhythmia.”

Laura Sanchez, head teacher at The Martin High School, in Anstey, where Tom was a student, said: “We are really saddened by the loss of Tom. It was a huge shock to us all.

“He was a really loved boy, a quiet, self-contained young man. We will be holding a memorial service next week which we are talking to Tom’s parents about.”

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Leicester City ambassador Alan Birchenall, said: “I have been in contact with the family to offer the club’s condolences and I will be going along when the funeral arrangements are made.”

Tom also leaves 14-year-old brother Matthew and nine year old sister Emily.

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