Heartbroken friend plans Sheffield United tribute to "amazing" pal v Bournemouth after tragic death, 17
Sheffield United supporter planning touching tribute to Blades-mad friend after tragic death, 17
The heartbroken friend of a teenage Sheffield United supporter tragically killed in a car accident has made an appeal to honour him with a minute's applause at Bramall Lane. Josh Atkins was just 17 years old when he passed away after the collision in Stannington on Saturday night.
A GoFundMe page set up in Josh's memory to support his family has smashed its initial £1,000 target and now stands at almost £7,000 after being set up two days ago. And Josh's friend Dylan Dawson is hoping to keep his pal's memory alive at the Blades' next home game, against Bournemouth after the international break, with a minute's applause in the 17th minute.
"Blades fans, one of my best mates Josh sadly died in a car crash at just 17," Dylan posted on Twitter. "He was a massive United fan and it would be much appreciated to have a minute's applause from the 17th minute in United's next home game v Bournemouth. Please share this around."
Dylan later told The Star: "I planned the tribute to raise awareness for Josh. He was a massive United fan and it would be greatly appreciated to get a minute's applause in the 17th minute in the next United game. He was always happy and full of energy, no matter what. He was an amazing friend who was loved by many."
Well-known United players past and present, including current striker Oli McBurnie and legendary former goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, shared their condolences on Twitter. "Sorry to hear mate. RIPJosh," said McBurnie, while Kenny replied: "RIP Josh, really sorry to hear this very sad news."
Former striker Carl Asaba and U21s star Sydie Peck were also amongst the Blades connections to show their support, with fundraising organiser Debbie Beeley describing Josh as "a vibrant teenager who lived life to the full and had an impact on many people's lives."
Amongst the tributes, Angela Morton described Josh as "a wonderful young man, whose life was taken all too soon. We'll miss you Josh ... Fly high." Abigail Wood added: "Thinking of you all at this very difficult time. What has happened has truly devastated us and can't even begin to imagine how you're all feeling. You're doing everyone proud by staying so strong, it's truly admirable. Josh would be so proud of you all."
The appeal for the minute's applause has also reached Bournemouth supporters via social media, with many sharing their support and pledging to get involved when the Cherries travel to Bramall Lane in a big relegation six-pointer next Saturday afternoon.