Boy, 12, dies after 'freak accident' watching football


A 12-year-old boy who was hit by a post while watching a football match has died, police said.

Oliver Croker was watching the game at Bradninch Football club near Exeter on Saturday when the accident happened. 

In a statement his school Tiverton High said: "It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of Olly Croker in a freak accident at the weekend.

"In describing Olly, the first words that come to mind are that he was the life and soul of the party; a larger than life character, brimming with confidence, with an eagerness and enthusiasm for taking part in all aspects of school life. His youthful vibrancy and curiosity about life shaped his whole character."

Devon and Cornwall Police said Oliver was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital before being transferred to Bristol Children's Hospital where he later died.

According to reports, the football club said in a statement: "As many will have heard, a freak accident took place at Kensham Park at the end of a football match between Bradninch and Bampton on Saturday September 12.

"A hoop used as part of fencing became lodged in the head of a young lad from Bampton who had been watching the match.

"At this time, it is unclear how the accident occurred. Oliver was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

"All at Bradninch are absolutely shocked and devastated by this tragic accident and our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Oliver."

The school added: "He was a very knowledgeable and sparky lad with his finger on the pulse of what was going on at school, in the local community and beyond.

"He was multi-talented and we had high hopes for his future. Olly was a keen sportsman and represented THS at rugby and even played up an age group.

"Our thoughts and wishes are with Olly's parents and brothers."

The club tweeted: "Everyone at Bradninch Town FC would like to give our sincere condolences to the family of little Oliver who has tragically passed away.

"No one deserves to be taken so young and he will be dearly missed. Gone but never forgotten. Rest in peace."