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Boy, 15, dies after rugby collapse

A headteacher has paid tribute to a 15-year-old boy who died after collapsing during a school rugby match.

Caroline Hoddinott, headteacher of Haybridge High School and Sixth Form College in Hagley, Worcestershire, said Luke Chapman was a "much-loved son, grandson, friend and student" and said he would be missed "very much".

Luke was airlifted to Birmingham Children's Hospital on Tuesday afternoon after he collapsed on the rugby field during a game at Baxter College in Kidderminster.

Speaking on behalf of the governors and the Haybridge community, Ms Hoddinott said the school's priority was "to help family, friends and the whole community through this difficult time".

She told reporters outside the school's gates: "We are terribly shocked and upset by the tragic death of Luke Chapman. Luke, aged 15, was a much-loved son, grandson, friend and student and we will miss him very much. 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. We would appreciate you respecting our privacy to give us the space to enable us to do this."

Ambulance crews were called to reports of a boy who had stopped breathing on the rugby field at Baxter College at around 4.30pm. Attempts to resuscitate Luke were made before he was airlifted to Birmingham Children's 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 of the schoolboy tweeted messages of support. One said: "RIP Luke Chapman, never forget the good memories x."

Meanwhile, players and staff from Worcester Warriors and Worcester Rugby Football Club sent their condolences to the teenager's family and friends.

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