Heartfelt tribute to Sheffield footballer who drowned in reservoir as thousands raised in his memory

A heartfelt tribute has been paid to a young Sheffield footballer who drowned in Ulley Reservoir last week – as a fundraising appeal in his memory tops £5,000.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 1:22 pm
Khizer Hayat drowned in Ulley Reservoir. More than £5,000 has been donated in his memory so far (Photo: JustGiving)

Khizer Hayat, aged 19, lost his life after getting into difficulty in the water at around 6.10pm on Wednesday, September 22.

A search of the water was carried out and Khizer’s body was recovered later that night.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A young footballer named as Khizer Hayat, who played for Darnall Football Academy, drowned in Ulley Reservoir last week

Khizer was a member of Darnall Football Academy, where he had played since he was 12 years old.

Teams in the Sheffield & District Junior Sunday Football League are to hold a minute's silence ahead of their games this weekend as a mark of respect to Khizer after his shock death.

He drowned just four months after the death of 16-year-old Sam Haycock, from Rotherham, who also got into difficulty in the water.

Paying tribute to Khizer in a Facebook post, Husain Nadz said: “Rest In Peace my bro. Seeing your name on that gravestone still doesn’t feel real one little bit.

“As much as you didn’t deserve to go Allah swt is the best of planners and you leaving this earth was all part of it.

“Still breaks my heart to even imagine you in this state but you’re in the best of places.

“You really done something to all of us, you made us realise how much imaan we lacked and you brought us all closer to our Deen and we can’t thank you enough for that.

“Until we meet again my dear brother.”

More than £5,000 has been raised in Khizer’s memory through an online crowdfunding appeal.

On the JustGiving appeal page, organisers say Khizer ‘tragically lost his life’.

They reveal that money donated in his memory will be used to fund water pumps and wells in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ghana.

Police and fire chiefs issued safety advice in the wake of both tragic drownings over recent months.

Simon Dunker, an area manager for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “Unfortunately we have seen far too many people lose their lives in open water this year, and we stand with our police colleagues in urging people to be extremely careful around open water – especially as the nights draw in and temperatures drop colder.”