TRIBUTES have been paid to a 14-year-old described as a “fantastic kid” who died after becoming ill on holiday in France.
Felix Byam-Shaw, who was taught at Dragon School in North Oxford and had just completed his first year at Eton – is thought to have been staying in Saint-Martin-de-Ré on the Île de Ré off south west France when he was taken ill, on Friday.
A message posted on a Facebook page set up in his memory – Felix Byam Shaw April 21, 2000-July 19, 2014 that yesterday had more than 2,700 likes – said the teenager was taken to hospital on Friday night but died the following morning.
It said: “He passed away at about 4am. We are in indescribable shock and I cannot believe it, one keeps on thinking he will just turn up. This is the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
“He was everyone’s friend and will never be forgotten... he had the most fulfilled life any boy could wish for, he was the best sportsman, the nicest, most popular friend.”
Felix was a member of various sports teams including the Summertown Stars, in the Oxford Mail Youth League, which he joined when he was six.
Yesterday Stars chairman David Rundle said Felix was a “fantastic kid” and added: “He will be sorely missed by his team mates and the club.”
Mr Rundle said Felix had been staying with a family friend in France.
Felix, also a gifted cricketer, had played for and captained a number of the county’s under-age teams including most recently the under-14s, which he captained three weeks ago.
Coach Rowan McGregor said: “He was tactically very good. He had grown quite a lot and was actually turning into a good fast bowler.
“He was an incredibly committed cricketer and very loyal to the team. The boys are all devastated.”
Chris Clements, chairman of Oxfordshire Cricket Board, said: “Losing anyone from our cricket community in Oxfordshire is always painful but to lose a very promising young sportsman is deeply distressing. Felix was a well-respected member of our Boys Under-14 squad. He will be deeply missed but never forgotten.”
Members of the Oxfordshire county cricket senior men’s side held a minute’s silence at their game against Dorset in Bournemouth yesterday.
County cricket teams of various age groups will likewise hold a minute’s silence, as well as wear black armbands, during their games held this week.
Tony Little – head at Eton School, where Felix had just completed his initial year – also paid tribute to the schoolboy.
He said: “Felix was a popular and talented boy who had made a wonderful start in his first year at Eton.
“The thoughts of the school community are with his parents and family following this devastating news.”
A spokesman for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office said that it was aware of an incident involving a British national in France and were providing consular assistance.
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