Tuesday 27 September 2016

Family and club touched by 'beautiful' tributes to talented schoolboy (10)

Published 11/02/2016 | 14:30

Prosper Onakoya
Prosper Onakoya

A TRAGIC Ballyfermot boy has been remembered as a talented footballer and popular student by his club and school.

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Prosper Onakoya (10) was diagnosed with an illness just before Christmas and died at the weekend.

The De La Salle pupil was a popular boy in the school and also a great talent at Cherry Orchard Football Club.

School principal Naomi Plant said that his death had saddened everybody.

"Prosper was popular, well-loved and talented in so many ways.

"He was gifted musically and at mathematics, and was a great classmate to the other pupils in fifth class.

"He also played for the school football team and was a winning member of the credit union quiz team," she added.

Prosper had not been in school since he became unwell before Christmas.

A book of condolence has been opened in the school for people who want to pay tribute to him.

Gratitude

Cherry Orchard FC spokesman Don O'Reilly and the Onakoya family issued a statement in which they said they would like to express their sincere gratitude to each and every person and club that have left heartfelt messages following Prosper's death.

"One thing is for sure, we may have rivalry on pitches and sidelines at times and that's part of football, but times like this it really makes you realise that we are all one big football family and everything else goes out the window.

"This has affected not just our club and the Onakoya family but each and every one of you too. The football will go on, the respected rivalries will be there, the enjoyment we all get from seeing our children playing the game, win lose or draw but please, don't let these moments come and go.

"Things like this put it all into perspective and at the end of the day it's only football. There have been beautiful messages from parents, players, clubs from far and wide and the general public and to you all we say ... thank you," it said.

Prosper, who was also known as Yaya or The Hulk by his teammates, died last Sunday.

The popular midfielder had played Fifa with his pals on their games consoles just the day before he passed away.

"Prosper played for our U11 Sunday side and will be sadly missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this tragic time and of course his manager, coach and team mates," said Mr O'Reilly.

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