School in shock after teenager collapses and dies in rugby match

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The Independent Online

Tributes have been paid to a 15-year-old schoolboy who died after collapsing on a rugby pitch.

Luke Chapman, who was described as a "much-loved son, grandson, friend and student", was airlifted to hospital as paramedics struggled to resuscitate him, but he later died.

Ambulance crews were called after the pupil from Haybridge High School in Hagley, Worcester, stopped breathing during a match at a school in Kidderminster at 4:30pm on Tuesday.

Yesterday, his head teacher, Caroline Hoddinott, said Luke would be missed "very much". She added: "Our thoughts are with the family, friends, students and staff at this very sad time and the school will offer all the support we possibly can to all those affected." Thanking local people for their thoughts and prayers, she added: "Our focus now is to help family, friends and our whole community through this difficult time."

Attempts were made to resuscitate Luke on the pitch before he was airlifted to hospital. A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ambulance crews and hospital staff, nothing could be done to save the boy and he passed away shortly after arriving at hospital."

Friends and classmates tweeted messages of support yesterday morning. One wrote: "RIP Luke Chapman, never forget the good memories x." Another said: "Even though I didnt know you, a lot of my friends did. The whole of Hagley is silent. Rest in peace Luke Chapman."

Players and staff at Worcester Warriors and Worcester Rugby Football Club also sent their condolences to the teenager's family and friends.

In a statement, the Premiership club said: "Worcester Warriors and Worcester RFC would like to express sincere heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of an aspiring rugby player who died yesterday playing for his school, Haybridge High School in Hagley.

"Our immediate thoughts are with the family at this very sad time.

"We would also like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to his schoolfriends, his rugby club and the team they were playing. All parties have a close relationship with Worcester Warriors."