Boy, 13, collapses and dies playing football with friends leaving mum ‘broken’

The mum of a teenage boy who tragically collapsed after playing football says her heart is “broken” as tributes flood in.

Kellum Thomas, 13, passed away in hospital last Wednesday.

He had been enjoying a kickabout near his home with friends before he returned and collapsed.

Kellum, from Nottingham, had underlying heath issues and a heart condition.

The teenager – described as “always smiling” leaves behind mum Jodie Wilson, dad Perris Thomas and two younger siblings.

A GoFundMe page set up to support relatives had already raised more than £2,500.

His mum Jodie said: “Kellum was such a caring boy who always put a smile on everyone’s face.

“Despite his health conditions, he lived life to the fullest. He never gave up. I am so proud to be his mum.

“My heart is broken, but his strength is what has given me mine.”

Jodie Bishop, a family friend, added: “Kellum had a heart attack in 2016 and had a defibrillator fitted in his heart.

“He was out with his friends playing football and when he came home just collapsed on the floor.

“His mum did everything she could.”

Ms Bishop set up the fundraising page in the wake of the tragedy.

She wrote: “He was a true warrior never complained and was always smiling.

“He was a popular boy – he loved playing football with his friends.

“He is an amazing big brother to Mason and Auburn who will truly miss him.”

Kellum was a pupil at Westbury Academy, which provides support for children with physical, mental and social health difficulties.

Principal Marcus Wells said: “Kellum Thomas, a pupil in Year 8, had settled exceptionally well into Westbury Academy, following his transition in September 2019.

“He was described as a positive class member with a great sense of humour, who was passionate about football and a team player in the widest sense.

“He was a true believer in fairness – he loved to talk and was regarded across the Academy as a real rising star both academically and socially.

“He will be forever in our hearts and all at Westbury Academy were privileged to get to know the real ‘him’ and his shining personality.”