Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memorial Plan for Tragic Lad; School Friends Want Annual Tribute to Teenage Meningitis Victim

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memorial Plan for Tragic Lad; School Friends Want Annual Tribute to Teenage Meningitis Victim

Article excerpt

Byline: DAN WARBURTON

DAZED friends of schoolboy meningitis victim Michael Lloyd are planning an annual tribute in his memory.

The 15-year-old, from Low Fell, died two days after an outbreak of the killer infection at Emmanuel College in Gateshead.

And the illness also left a fellow Year 10 classmate fighting for life in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary. Since Michael's death on Tuesday, devastated pupils have poured their hearts out in online tribute sites as they come to terms with the loss.

Now they are planning to hold an annual event in honour of the popular teenager as they bid to keep his memory alive.

Today Jonathan Winch, principal at Emmanuel College, said: "What's been remarkable is the way in which the students are being strong for one another. "Our thoughts are really with the family at this time.

"We want to set a tribute in place which will be an annual thing - I asked the school for ideas and already we've got loads of things going on.

"We have to flesh out the details but it will be something that will enable us to remember him year-afteryear and be thankful he was in our lives. We lost a young man, Andrew Boath, in 2004 who sadly died of leukaemia.

"Every year on his birthday we have a race which is a 400m course around the college grounds.

"Every year we try to break the record and every year one of the athletes shaves a bit of time off.

"We invite Andrew's family along and it's a great event.

"That's what we want for Michael - but it has to suit the person Michael was."

Michael died with his parents by his side following a 48-hour fight against the infection.

The college was put on alert after the two 15-year-olds were admitted to hospital suffering from the deadly strain of the meningococcal bacteria.

And more than 150 Year 10 pupils were given antibiotics in a bid to stop the outbreak spreading.

Michael's parents spoke of their heartache following the teenager's death and today Mr Winch paid tribute to the strength of his classmates. He said: "The mood at the college is solemn.

"People are grieving and that's because Michael was so popular. …

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