Streets lined with tributes for football fan who died aged 12

Streets have been lined with touching tributes for a 12-year-old boy after he died from a very rare heart condition.

Blue hearts and messages for Shaun Purden, from Tranmere, were left outside of people's homes on Friday for the young boy's funeral.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, only 15 people could attend the "football-mad" little boy's funeral.

To show support for him, people went one step further and made sure Shaun had a fitting send off.

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Tributes were even paid by Tranmere Rovers Football Club, who tied a heart and blue balloon to the The Johnny King statue at Prenton Park.

Families also stood outside of their homes with RIP messages for Shaun, as whole streets could be seen lined with people holding blue hearts.

The Johnny King statue at Prenton Park,with a blue heart and balloon for Shaun Purden

Tranmere Rovers supporter Shaun died after battling a very rare heart condition, Brugada Syndrome.

His stepmum Sarah Martingell-Purden, 34, and his dad Mike Martingell-Purden, 41, described the young boy as "gorgeous".

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A family with a tribute for Shaun Purden

Paying tribute to her "little sunshine", Sarah said: "He was cheeky and lovely, nobody had a bad word to say about him because he was just gorgeous.

"His smile is what everyone remembers, he's just got a lovely smile.

People outside Prenton Park in memory of Shaun Purden.

"No matter what happened he would smile through it."

Shaun's battle with Brugada Syndrome began when he was just 10 years old and he collapsed in the playground.

Tribute's at Prenton Park for Shaun Purden.

Sarah said: "Up until he was 10 he was a perfectly happy little boy, a gorgeous little boy. Anyone who met him, the first thing they would say to you was about his smile.

"But when he was 10, on January 9, 2018, he collapsed in the playground at school.

"He was fine in the morning, nothing to suggest anything was wrong, but he'd had a cardiac arrest on the playground.

"Thankfully the staff at the school realised very, very fast what was happening and after Shaun took his last breaths that he could, they administered CPR before the ambulance and the first responders turned up."

Shaun Purden's family said football "was a big part of his life"

Shaun was cared for in Alder Hey Childrens' Hospital after this, and made huge strides in his recovery.

Sarah said: "Every day he just did something more, and within a couple of weeks he was running around that ward and he caught so much back after that first cardiac arrest.

"He went back to normal school, he went back to playing football for our local football team. And if you didn't know Shaun before, you wouldn't have known anything would have happened to him.

"He never let it stop him. We didn't want the heart condition to define him, we wanted him to define himself."

Six months after Shaun's cardiac arrest he was diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome – a heart condition that is very rare for children to have.

Sarah said: "Unfortunately Shaun just had a really aggressive form of it."

Shaun Purden has been described as "determined" by his family

Devastatingly, Shaun had another cardiac arrest in November, 2019.

This affected Shaun's brain and he suffered severe brain damage, Sarah said.

The family were told not to expect Shaun to wake up, but days later the determined young boy opened his eyes.

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Since November Shaun developed a chest infection "out of nowhere" and Sarah said his heart couldn't cope.

He then tragically had another cardiac arrest last Thursday, before suffering another one on Friday.

Sarah said: "We knew Shaun was tired. He decided Saturday morning he was ready to rest and he had a further cardiac arrest.

Shaun Purden, aged 12, from Tranmere

"He had five in total."

Tributes have since poured in for Shaun.

Tranmere Rovers FC, Shaun's team, said: "Everyone at Tranmere Rovers Football Club is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of young supporter Shaun Purden.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

"Shaun first attended Prenton Park when he was aged just two and has been a loyal part of the SWA ever since. He would go to the game with his Dad and step brother every week.

"In October, Shaun was our special mascot for the day against Shrewsbury Town where he met the whole squad and walked out of the tunnel with Liam Ridehalgh."

Shaun Purden was a massive Tranmere Rovers fan, his family said

Liam Ridehalgh had a personal tribute to Shaun, having walked him onto the pitch when he was mascot.

He said: “Having met Shaun in October, I can only say how much of a polite and inspirational young boy he was. All of the team are deeply saddened by the loss of Shaun and we offer our condolences to his family and friends.

"It was an honour to meet Shaun and walk out of the Prenton Park tunnel with him. May he rest in peace.”

A JustGiving page for Shaun can be found here

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