Belfast Telegraph

Mourners to wear club colours at Sean Hamilton's funeral

Funeral: Sean Hamilton
Funeral: Sean Hamilton
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

The funeral of a tragic young footballer from north Belfast will take place tomorrow.

Sean Hamilton died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack following an operation at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Co Dublin.

The 12-year-old, from the New Lodge area, had been a member of St Patrick's Football Club from the age of four and attended St Gerard's School in west Belfast.

His family has asked mourners to wear green to represent St Patrick's, or red to represent Manchester United, who Sean supported.

They said they wanted to "celebrate his life" and would hold a special event at the Girdwood Community Hub after the funeral at 1pm.

Patrick Downey, chairman of St Patrick's FC, told the Irish News that Sean's death was "devastating".

"Sean faced everything head on - he was such a brave lad," he said. "He was a good kid and a good footballer. He was known as the quiet man until you put a football at his feet. He was super strong and committed."

Mr Downey added that while "football was in Sean's blood", he suffered with "genetic problems on both sides of his family that caused heart problems".

He stressed that when undergoing treatment, the 12-year-old "faced every hurdle with his chest out - he just wanted to be back on that football pitch".

Mr Downey described the death as "heart-wrenching" and explained that the family wanted "to celebrate the memory of their beloved son" at the funeral.

St Gerard's principal Stephen Ramsey described Sean as a "highly valued member of our year eight group".

A fundraising page has been set up to raise money for Our Lady's Children's Hospital's heart ward and the Children's Heartbeat Trust in memory of Sean.

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