THE head teacher of St Thomas More School, Buxton has paid tribute to talented teenager Ben Obiora, who sadly died while playing football at the weekend.
Brendan Hickey said Ben Obiora was a “bright, talented, quiet and popular member of year 11” at the school.
Sixteen-year-old Ben collapsed while playing football on Saturday afternoon. He was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport where he later died.
Paying tribute on the St Thomas More school website, Mr Hickey said: “When people die, words of tribute may be paid which at times flatter. The word ‘legend’ is freely used these days to describe the passing of a person who has touched people and whose loss will be difficult to bear. In the case of Ben, these words are not an exaggeration.
“Ben was talented. You have to be something special to achieve what he achieved; trials for Liverpool football club, playing football for your county, playing a significant role in helping your school football team become High Peak champions two years in a row, representing the High Peak in the 100m at the Derbyshire Championships and coming fourth (which he was disappointed with).
“Ben was bright. He wasn’t just average academically and there is evidence: he had already achieved a grade A in his English Language GCSE and was working towards the A in English Literature too; in GCSE Maths, the modules he had sat were indicating he would achieve a grade A; it was clear that he was on track to gain a whole bag of top grades in the summer.
“Ben was quiet and popular. Ben was truly admired and respected by both the students and staff at St Thomas More (and beyond): he was voted in as Deputy Headboy, an indication of the esteem in which he was held. Ben was always calm and always polite with a great sense of humour.
“Ben was a truly lovely lad; a great “all rounder”; a fantastic role model to the communities in which he belonged.
“Ben was a credit to his family. They did not deserve for him to go. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and we will make sure that Ben is not forgotten.”