FRIENDS of a popular teenager who died suddenly have rallied together to raise funds in his memory.
Kieran Jones, 17, from Burton, passed away on Monday morning after being admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties.
Students at de Ferrers Academy, where he was a sixth form student, have been left shocked by his death .
Close friend Tom Dunn, who was in the same form as Kieran at de Ferrers, said students were pulled into a special assembly to be told the news.
He said: “One of the teachers came running in and said ‘you need to go to assembly’; we all got there and it was silent for a bit, then the vice-principal said ‘I wish I wasn’t giving you this news,’ and told us that Kieran had passed away. The atmosphere just fell and everyone started crying.
“Myself and a few other people discussed getting some money together for his family. We got a money pot and put a picture of him on it and an Arsenal badge. We put it in the middle of the common room and there was £100 in there in the first hour. We raised £350 by the end of the day and now have £1,400.”
An assembly was also held this week to celebrate his life, which was attended by his family, including his younger brother and older sister. The money raised will be put towards the funeral of the teenager, who loved football and was a referee for the Burton Junior Football League.
Tom said: “The only way to describe Kieran was ‘jolly’. He always had a happy face – I never saw him in a bad mood.”
They have also had confirmation from Arsenal Football Club that Kieran will be mentioned in the next match day programme.
“We bought a Arsenal shirt with ‘Kizza’ on the back which everyone has signed. We have given it to his family,” said Tom.
It is also hoped that an annual memorial football match will be held in his name.