Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Lasting Tribute to Tragic Teen Star Unveiled; Is Created a Year on from Death of Taylor

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Lasting Tribute to Tragic Teen Star Unveiled; Is Created a Year on from Death of Taylor

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON Reporter lisa.hutchinson@ncjmedia.co.uk @lisachron

TALENTED young footballer Taylor Atherton had the world at his feet before he died on Valentine's Day last year.

But his name is living on at his school and on the pitch as his grieving family and pals remember him.

Never a day goes by they don't think about Taylor, who died in his sleep after his heart stopped weeks before his 15th birthday.

A year on, his parents and schoolmates have had a stone memorial plaque erected at Monkseaton High School, while his footballing pals now play for the Taylor Atherton Invitation Shield in an emotional annual event.

His mum and dad, Lee Atherton and Elaine Burnett, say they constantly think about him, and his three sisters, Jessica, Louis and Megan, miss him dearly.

And on Valentine's Day they will recall the love he brought into their lives.

From the family home in North Shields, mum Elaine, 33, said: "There is not a day goes by that we don't think about Taylor and his three sisters really miss him.

"I take comfort that the memorial plaque is at the school so his friends can visit it.

"The school had a non-uniform day and raised money and wanted to do something for Taylor.

"We discussed what we wanted and I think it turned out really well."

The sandstone plaque features a stone football with the number 76 and the words "Taylor Atherton, what a player, what a person, what a smile".

Fighting back tears Elaine added: "The number 76 is the number of goals he scored in a year as he was the top goalscorer at Cramlington."

A spokesperson for Monkseaton High School said: "We will be respectmemorial fully commemorating the life of Taylor Atherton on February 14, giving students and staff the opportunity to share their memories.

"We have an area set up in school dedicated to Taylor, as well as a memorial, funded by student donations, within the school grounds. As always, our thoughts and best wishes are with Taylor's family."

Taylor was on trial with Middlesbrough when tragedy struck. He had also trialled at Newcastle Academy and played for Cramlington Juniors. …

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