Football match in memory of teen who died 12 years ago on the pitch

SUS-181210-131006001
SUS-181210-131006001

A charity football match in memory of a 14-year-old boy is being organised by a group of friends.

Josh Briggs was county champion in tennis and had played for Eastbourne Borough Youth team for three years when he died suddenly on the football pitch.

Josh, who seemed to be in perfect health and playing football as usual, had suffered from a rare form of pneumonia without anyone realising and it tragically took his life very rapidly.

Andrew Briggs, his father, said, “The paediatrician was stunned by it. He had never come across it before and has since carried out some research. We are still in touch with him.”

Josh’s death 12 years ago shook the community and counselling was given to young people across the town.

Andrew said, “Josh went to Willingdon School but there were young people across the town who found it very difficult.

“It is quite chilling for a young person to think they could just drop dead at 14.”

More than 500 people attended his funeral at Victoria Baptist Church.

Now, 12 years on, Josh’s friends, who are now all in their mid to late 20s, have organised a charity football match in his memory to raise money for You Raise Me Up.

You Raise Me Up is a local charity which helps families who have lost a child.

The event will take place on October 21 with a 4pm kick-off at the Saffrons and Josh’s parents, Andrew and Val Briggs, say they are delighted his kindhearted friends are taking the trouble to organise an event in his memory.

Andrew said, “We just feel great that after so many years, his friends still remember him and think about him.

“It is half a life ago for these young people and some are now married with kids.

“Many of them don’t even live in Eastbourne anymore but are travelling here to play.”

Around 30 of Josh’s friends from school and football have signed up.

Fraser Charrett-Dykes said, “Josh has not been forgotten by anyone who knew him, he touched many lives with his warmth, his humour and his honesty.”

Organiser hope locals will come to enjoy the match and support the charity.

Entrance is £2 and includes a raffle ticket. All proceeds will go to You Raise Me Up.