More than £1,000 has been raised for charity in memory of a bright young footballer who died after a severe asthma attack.
Zack King, a player for Deeping Rangers’s under-10 Clarets side, suffered the asthma attack while at home on Tuesday last week. The nine-year-old was rushed to hospital but died two days later.
Tributes poured in from across the footballing community after his death and a JustGiving page was set up in Zack’s name to support Asthma UK.
And in just a few short days more than £1,000 has been donated to the charity.
In a statement released on the Deeping Rangers website, junior section chairman Barry Phillips said: “All of our thoughts and prayers from the football club go out to Zack’s parents Alana and Damian, along with the management team, players and parents of the under-10’s Clarets side.
“Zack has been with Deeping Rangers Football Club since the age of five and was developing into a very prolific goalscorer, along with being a popular member of the teams he played in, and will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.”
Zack’s team was sponsored by snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan.
A spokesman for the star said: “Ronnie and his management team were devastated to hear the news of Zack’s tragic death. We send our sincere condolences to his family and hope that the Deeping Rangers under-10s Clarets go on to play and win in the future as a lasting legacy to his memory”.
Peterborough United player Grant McCann also joined in the tributes. He posted a picture of himself and Zack on his Twitter account @grantmccann11, writing: “I met this little boy a year ago and now he is gone, so sad. Please help and donate RIP Zack.”
Zack was a pupil at Market Deeping Community Primary School and lived in Deeping St James.
A statement from the school said: “Zack was a friendly, helpful boy, who was conscientious and determined in his school work. As a friend Zack was kind and caring which made him very popular among his peers.
“Zack was a talented athlete and footballer, representing the school at the Deepings Sports and playing for both the school team and for Deeping Rangers under-10s. He will be missed enormously by everyone who knew him.”
Zack’s funeral will be held at Maxey Church at 11am today. This will be followed by a service at the Peterborough Crematorium at midday with the wake at Deeping Sports and Social Club at 1pm.
The club has invited friends, fellow players and the wider football community to attend and celebrate Zack’s life. His family have requested that everyone wear football shirts rather than black ties.
Donations are still being welcomed on the JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/ zack-king. So far the total stands just shy of £1,200. All the money raised will go to Asthma UK.
l A memorial game for Deeping Rangers’ late president Norman Fowler and secretary Haydon Witham, who both died this summer, will be held on Saturday.
Rangers will play Eynesbury Rovers from 3pm. A club statement said: “The day will be a chance to recall, and mark the contributions, of both of the sorely missed gentlemen, to their families, friends, colleagues, both work and at Deeping Rangers, and the footballing community who came into contact with either or both.
“We hope you can also join and share your memories of Haydon and Norman.”