Liverpool FC urged to honour schoolboy after match collapse

Friends of a popular 14-year-old schoolboy who collapsed and died after a game of soccer are urging Liverpool FC to highlight his memory when they play Hearts in the Uefa Cup tomorrow.

Graham O’Connell died from a suspected heart attack after a kick-around with five friends on Monday on the northside of Cork City.

The Mayfield teenager collapsed after walking away from the group at about 5.30pm. A local GP tried to resuscitate him at the scene before he was taken to Cork University Hospital. Several attempts to revive him failed.

Grieving friends of Graham, a staunch Liverpool supporter, have mounted a Twitter campaign to persuade the club to honour his memory by flashing his name on the scoreboard at half-time.

A number of people have sent the request to the club’s official Twitter account and one friend also sent a direct plea to Liverpool defender José Enrique.

Other tributes to Graham, who lived at The Steeples, near Our Lady Crowned Church, were also posted on Twitter by friends.

There were a steady stream of people arriving at the O’Connell family home yesterday offering their sympathies to Graham’s parents, David and Jackie, and his two sisters, Karen and Edel.

Cllr John Kelleher, who lives locally, said it was a sad day for the community, especially as it was a sudden death of a young person.

“All our sympathies are with the family,” said Mr Kelleher.

A large crowd is expected to attend Graham’s removal at 7pm today from Jerh O’Connor’s funeral home on Coburg St to Our Lady Crowned Church in Mayfield.

He will be buried after requiem Mass tomorrow at noon at St Catherine’s Cemetery in Kilcully.


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