THE family and friends of an avid Sheffield Wednesday fan who died suddenly in his sleep, aged 18, have taken part in a sponsored walk between his beloved Hillsborough and Bramall Lane.
Kyle Hancock died while at university on the day of the first Sheffield derby match last season.
He was found in bed by friends at a hall of residence at the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, where he was just five weeks into a course studying sports journalism.
Doctors told his devastated parents Ian and Debbie, who live in Bradwell, Derbyshire, that Kyle’s death was attributed to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
But nothing could explain the reason why he died, despite a post mortem.
Now his friends and family are doing their bit to raise funds to pay for research into the condition.
And on Saturday they took part in a sponsored walk from Hillsborough to Bramall Lane, organised by his good friend Paige Salt, 17.
Kyle’s dad Ian said: “Paige was Kyle’s friend and an avid Sheffield United fan.
“Kyle was an avid Sheffield Wednesday fan.
“That’s why we chose to walk from Hillsborough to Bramall Lane.”
He added: “Kyle passed away in his sleep on October 16, the day of the first Sheffield derby last season. He just went to sleep and never woke up.
“There was nothing wrong with him.
“The weekend before, Kyle had been home to watch the Owls v Chesterfield match.
Sadly that was his very last visit to the club.
“All that week and every day we had phoned Kyle and even though he had a little fresher’s flu there was nothing wrong with him.
“He had been apprehensive about the big derby and was going to come home for the match but decided that he would listen to it on the internet as he had his finances to think about.
“The Saturday night I phoned him and he was well and in good spirits, my last words were ‘phone you tomorrow’ and he asked me not to forget to get the match programme as myself and his brothers Liam and Shay were going to Hillsborough to watch the beam back.
“All day we had been trying to phone him but we got no answer.”
Mr Hancock said at 9.30pm on Sunday night a police officer knocked at the door.
He said: “He sadly informed us our beloved son had been found deceased in his halls. He had gone to bed in the early hours in perfect health and never woke up.
He added: “That one sentence, that one statement, completely turned our world upside down and had just destroyed us all. Our beloved Kyle had gone. How? why?
“He had gone to sleep in the very early hours and never woke up. “
His dad added: “Kyle was a massive football fan and studied the game and wanted to get into broadcasting sports journalism.
“He also played as a goal keeper and had trials for the university team.
“He played for the village junior team and with his friends Calum and Rob and took on the manger’s role for the under 12s team for two seasons prior to going to uni.
“We all miss Kyle so much - always in our hearts, always in our minds, never forgotten.
Ian added: “We hope as many people as possible will get behind our efforts to raise funds for the Kyle Hancock Memorial Fund for Cardiac Risk In the Young.”