A heartbroken father has paid an emotional tribute to his football-mad son who collapsed and died in the street.
James Hick, 14, was found on the ground ‘pouring with blood’ in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday morning.
Neighbours tried to save the Mirfield Free Grammar pupil before he was taken to hospital, but officers later confirmed he had died of his injuries.
James Hick, 14, died after he was found on the ground ‘pouring with blood’ in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday morning
Tragic James had four younger brothers (pictured) and his father said their home won’t be the same without him
His father Michael said: ‘There are no words to describe how we are feeling right now.
‘James, you are amazing and your mum, me and your brothers miss you like crazy. Just want you back.
‘I knew I could leave you to look after your mum and brothers if I wasn’t around. I don’t know what to do now.
‘Thanks to those that have given and sent wishes and those that tried to help. The MFG, teachers and particularly the children from their have been exceptional.
‘You had so much ahead of you that we won’t be able to share and you were definitely loved – I hope you knew that.
His father Michael said: ‘James, you are amazing and your mum, me and your brothers miss you like crazy. Just want you back’
Police are still investigating James’ sudden death and a post-mortem is due to be held
‘We don’t know what to do without you – you helped to fill our home and car and now life feels empty. So very proud of the young man you were growing up to be. You certainly were popular, more than we ever realised.’
Relatives have now revealed an ambition to raise £10,000 in his memory.
In a post on a fundraising website, James’ aunt Olivia Thompson said: ‘Our hearts are broken and our lives will never be the same again.
‘I have been asked by many how they can contribute, so have set up this page for my sister, brother-in-law and nephews.
‘Any contributions made will be given straight to them to assist with funeral costs etc.
Relatives have now revealed an ambition to raise £10,000 in his memory. Pictured: James on his 14th birthday
Harold Hick, 73, James’s grandfather, is pictured paying tribute to him where he was fatally injured in Mirfield
‘I would just like to say on a personal note to all that showed up to James’s vigil, it meant so much to us all.
‘To know that he had so many true friends is unbelievable, you all did him proud.
‘He was the most amazing person, we love you James forever and always.’
Police are still investigating James’ sudden death and a post-mortem is due to be held.
Friends of the popular youngster put flowers at the scene of death last week before going to school
Cuddled up on the couch: James pictured with one of his baby brothers looking cosy on the sofa as they share a blanket
James had four younger brothers and played football with Battyeford Sporting Club in Mirfield.
A fund has been set up to pay for his funeral and has already reached more than £2,400.
Speaking through tears, his grandfather Harold Hick described the youngster as a ‘shining light’.
The 73-year-old said: ‘All I would like to say is that he was a shining light. It has taken the feet from right under me.
‘James was a fun loving child, he was very popular. He went to Mirfield Free Grammar and had been walking with friends.
Young James (pictured second right) is believed to have played football for local team Battyeford Sporting Club
‘I don’t know exactly what happened, it is a void that none of us know at this time.
‘He was not just a grandson to me, he was a mate.’
He revealed he had to break the devastating news to the teenager’s four younger brothers.
Mr Hick added that the news of James’ death has ‘blitzed the family’.
Visibily upset, he said: ‘His brothers obviously know what is happening now.
‘I came round here last night and we walked round and saw the three bunches of flowers there. It is a tremendous tribute.’
Floral tributes appeared at the scene in Mirfield today, where mourners paid emotional tributes to football-mad teenager James Hick
The montage of tributes, which include what appears to be a family photograph, also features three typed poems titled ‘Son’, ‘Brother’ and ‘Thinking of you on the day you went away’.
One handwritten tribute, which appears to be written by James’ father, reads: ‘James. Son, brother, grandson, nephew, friend to so many.
‘Talented at Crown Green Bowling, Football, Rugby, a shining light in everything you did and a great role model to your 4 brothers.
‘I hope you know how much you were loved by all of us, you were a teenager so affection wasn’t always easy and I was so looking forward to seeing you develop into a great man and son.
‘Miss you and love you always, Dad.’
Several youngsters went to buy flowers and lay them at the scene before they went to school last week.
One tribute said: ‘RIP James. You are still in our memories.’
Another read: ‘To James and his family, he will always be in our thoughts and memories and we will always remember you James.
One person wrote: ‘Fly high brother. ‘You may not be in our lives but you’re still in our hearts. You’ll never be forgotten. RIP James.’
The youngster is believed to have played football for local team Battyeford Sporting Club and played bowls at county level.
Junior Rep Andy Grason said: ‘We understand the family have asked for some space and privacy at the moment.
‘As a club we will, at the right time, pay our respects. Suffice to say that all the club are very saddened by yesterday’s sad news.’
Mirfield Free Grammar has also released a statement expressing their condolences today, which reads: ‘The staff, students and Governors of The MFG are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students.
Pictured: Floral tributes are placed at the scene of the tragedy in Mirfield, West Yorkshire
‘James was a wonderful, much loved young man, who had many friends.
‘Our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.’
He was also due to sit exams on Wednesday, which Mr Hick claims the school has cancelled as a mark of respect.
Members of the public made valiant efforts to save James before the emergency services arrived, a local mother revealed.
Neighbours feared he was rushing to get to school when he lost his footing and hit his head on the pavement.
Concerned locals noticed he was unconscious and began to administer CPR before shouting ‘he hasn’t got a pulse’.
Officers arrived at the scene at 8.30am and one eyewitness said the bloodied schoolboy was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Margaret Burton was one of those who gave James first aid. She said: ‘We were taking my son to college and I was going to work and I saw a group of lads and at first I thought there was fighting but then as I got closer I could see it was a boy on the pavement with an adult around him.
‘I said to my husband ‘let’s pull up and see if we can help’.
‘As I got to the boy it was obvious he wasn’t breathing.
‘I started doing CPR and there was a lady on the phone to the ambulance service who told us what to do.’
Neighbour Janine Robertson, 61, a retired doctors receptionist, said: ‘We were told that a pupil from Mirfield Free Grammar had fallen and knocked his head on the kerb.
‘He was found unconscious and someone fetched the defibrillator from St Andrew’s Church.
Locals are pictured placing flowers at the scene where 14-year-old James Hick was fatally injured yesterday
‘It was cordoned off most of the day. There were police cars, ambulances, lots of people stood around watching.
‘My neighbour said she had opened her curtains and had seen someone laid on the floor, a boy in school uniform.
‘A lady was apparently giving him CPR and said that he was unresponsive, she shouted out I can’t get a pulse.
‘It has been a shock for everyone to be honest. At first we thought he might have been running because he was late for school.’
James has been described as a ‘shining light’ by his grandfather Harold, who was joined by other mourners at the scene today
Angelina Nicholson, who lives nearby, said: ‘I just opened the curtain and the boy was laid on the floor.
‘There was no movement at all and the lady was knelt down over him, a very good lady doing CPR.
‘He was bleeding, she had blood on her face. There was just no movement whatsoever.
‘Right up until they took him in the ambulance, there was still no movement. There was a lot of police supporting him and then I think his mum did appear.
‘He looked about 14 to 16-years-old in an MFG [Mirfield Free Grammar] uniform. There were two other boys there, I don’t know if they were his friends.
‘One of them looked really sad and upset. They both looked in shock to be honest.’
Officers cordoned off the road (pictured) in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, after James was found injured on the way to school yesterday
Detective Inspector Shaf Rehman of Kirklees CID, announced late on Wednesday: ‘We can now confirm that the 14-year-old boy who was found in a serious condition this morning has died.
‘Officers are supporting the family at this difficult time and our enquiries into the incident remain ongoing.
‘At this stage we are treating the death as unexplained but do not currently believe there to be any suspicious circumstances. A post mortem is due to take place.’
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson had said earlier: ‘Police were called at 8:47 to reports of a concern for safety.
‘Ambulance and police attended on Southway in Mirfield, where a boy was found with serious injuries.
‘The 14-year-old was taken to hospital for medical treatment. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances.’
An Adidas bag and paramedic kit were found at the scene near where the boy, named locally as James Hick, was treated