A teenage boy from Limerick died from a suspected asthma attack hours after scoring a winning goal for his hurling team last Wednesday.
James Long (13) was rushed to hospital from his family home on Wednesday evening, after he became ill. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, he died on Thursday morning in University Hospital Limerick.
His heartbroken mother Barbara has revealed how the 13-year-old was celebrating after coming on as a substitute and scoring the winning goal for the Kilmallock U14 hurling team in the final minutes of a game on Wednesday.
"It's still on my phone. He was absolutely delighted with himself -- made up after the game," Barbara told the Irish Independent.
His final text message to his mother read: "We were down by two (points) and I came on in corner-forward and scored a rasper of a goal and then we were one up . . . I'll tell you about it in the morn (morning)."
Hours later, after returning home, the student became unwell and was rushed to University Hospital Limerick where he died on Thursday morning from a suspected asthma attack.
James had just completed his first year student at Colaiste Iosaef secondary school in Kilmallock, Limerick. His mother paid tribute to her sports mad son who was a Manchester United fan.
"He always wanted to be right in the thick of it. He loved hurling and football. He always wanted to be playing where the action was. He was a great player and always did his best no matter what he played," she told the Irish Independent.
"He wanted to be in the forwards all the time -- he'd never come back and defend when he was meant to. The managers used to be always roaring at him, 'Position, James'," she said.
The school principal Sean Twomey described James as one of the fittest students in the school.
"James was an outgoing, bubbly student. He was a loveable rogue and you couldn't miss him around the school corridors with his distinctive red hair and roguish charm. He was popular with students and staff and will be really missed," Twomey told the Irish Independent.
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