TRIBUTES have been paid to a 17-year-old who was killed by a bus.
James Coyle died when he was knocked down by a number 12 bus on the A259 East Dean Road near Eastbourne at 4.50pm on Friday.
James was a former Cavendish pupil and was studying at Sussex Downs College when he died. Tomorrow (September 10) his friends from school and college will go to Cavendish School for a memorial gathering.
His friends plan to lay flowers and pay their respects to a teenager who was ‘loved for his smile’.
School friend Daniel Jupp, 17, is helping to organise the event at Cavendish which will start at 2pm.
He said, “We, his friends, just wanted to do something so we can pay our respects. It will be a reunion for his school friends.
“James was always happy and outgoing and never had a bad word to say about anybody. I saw him the day before he died so it came as a shock – I couldn’t believe it at first.”
His family called him a ‘loving son and brother’, adding, “He was renowned, by family and friends, for his active and sociable personality and sense of fun.
“He was always thinking of others, working with after school clubs coaching badminton to children. He was an active member of the local community, playing tennis and football for Old Town Youth and Ratton Rangers.
“James was an organised and practical person who was always thinking of others. He was not afraid to take control of a situation or speak in front of others.
“Everyone who knew James will know how much he meant to his family and friends, who cannot believe that he has been taken away so abruptly from them. He will be greatly missed by all, but will always remain in their hearts and thoughts.”
James was a keen sportsman and played for tennis clubs in the town, coached badminton at after school clubs and was a popular player at Eastbourne Town Youth Football Club.
Graham Boulton, who coached him for more than seven years at Old Town Boys and latterly Ratton Rangers, said, “James will be sadly missed as a player and a person by everybody in the U18 squad.
“He became an ever present with the team almost as soon as he joined. James was the one lad who would never let the team down and often played in goal when the ‘keeper didn’t turn up.
“His attitude to training was exemplary and he was a joy to coach. On the field of play he was never booked and often walked away with man of the match.”
Ratton Rangers U18s are to hold a minute’s silence before their game this Sunday.
James’ funeral will be held on September 15 in the main chapel at Eastbourne Crematorium at 11.30am. The family has asked that any donations should be made to You Raise Me Up.