Hundreds say farewell at funeral of Sheffield Wednesday fan Thomas, 13

A Rotherham churchyard turned blue and white for the funeral of a Sheffield Wednesday fan and talented footballer who died aged 13.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 6:05 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 7:09 am
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.

Hundreds of people turned up to St Alban’s Church in Wickersley wearing blue or in Owls shirts and scarves to say goodbye to Thomas Bothamley today (July 28).

Thomas, who suffered from a heart condition, died suddenly on July 8.

The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.

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Mourners packed the church and spilled out into the yard for the service.

Words written by Thomas’ mum Keira Hayden gave an insight into the joy her ‘star’ had brought into so many lives.

“He was a true inspiration to everyone he met,” she said. “The memories people have shared with us have been overwhelming.

“We are so proud of the young man Thomas was becoming and the positive impact he had on the people who knew him.

The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.

“He was so beautiful and talented, such a handsome man gone too soon. Thomas was our star.”

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Thomas’ death was the third tragedy to have hit Keira, who lost her 23-month-old son Joshua Donnelly, on Christmas Day 2007. His father, Ryan Bothamley, who was a Sheffield Wednesday academy player, died from sudden adult death syndrome in 2002 when he was 15 years old.

The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.

Ryan died before his partner, Keira Hayden, found out she was pregnant with Thomas.

Tall for his age at 6ft 2in, ‘Tommy tiger’ was a talented footballer and played for Wickersley Youth JFC. Players and staff walked ahead of the hearse as his coffin, decorated with the badge of his beloved Sheffield Wednesday, arrive.

Wickersley Youth Chairman Len Curtis said he was an ‘incredible’ athlete, adding: “Who knows where he would have finished up - 6ft 7in would have been a good guess. He could have been anything he wanted to be.”

The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.
The funeral of Thomas Bothamley took place at St Albans, Wickersley. Thomas died of a heart condition on Friday, July 8 - mirroring the tragic death of his young father, Ryan Bothamley, who was just 15 when he died of sudden adult death syndrome in 2002, before Thomas was born.