Headteacher pays tribute to schoolboy following his untimely death

THE HEADTEACHER of the St Albans school rocked by the sudden death of a Year 8 pupil has paid tribute to the kind and caring pupil.

Annie Thompson, the head of Marlborough School, said that Year 8 pupil George Darkins said his tragic death had touched many in the school.

She said: “George was a hugely popular student across all year groups and was known for his ready smile, his love of sports and his capacity for fun. What has been particularly noticeable is the number of young people who have commented on his kindness. George had the capacity to notice when someone was feeling low and made it his business to befriend and take them under his wing until they felt better, for many he was their hero.”

She said that students had put together a memory wall for George on which they had written heartfelt and moving messages reflecting their sense of shock, loss and appreciation of what a special young man George had been.

She added: “George, we’ll miss you but you will always be in our hearts. Our deepest sympathy goes out to all of George’s family; he was much loved and will be missed by many. God bless.”

George died on Monday night shortly after arriving at hospital. Paramedics had tried to save him after being called to his home in Watford at 9.17pm.

Yesterday, George’s rugby team joined Langleybury Cricket Club to pay tribute to the 13-year-old.

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Gary Dollard, the head coach of Fullerians Rugby Club’s under 13s, said the talented youngster would be missed.

He described George’s ability and desire to improve which had led to him being promoted from the B team to the A team rather quickly.

Gary said: “He was a very personable character and took instruction and guidance without question and got on with the job with a smile on his face. He very soon earned the respect of his team players and coaches alike. I never saw him shy away from a tackle but instead ran with the ball in hand and supported his team mates.”

He said one particular memory of George stood out and epitomised the spirit of the promising player. During a game at Harrow RFC, George fell awkwardly and broke his arm. When asked by the referee whether he was okay, George replied: “No, look, my arm is broken” and waved it at him. Despite being one man down, George’s team won and as the players left the field, Gary said they were heard saying “let’s dedicate that victory to George as he gives his all for us.”

“As one of George’s coaches I must say what a pleasure and privilege it was to have had that time with him and to have known him and how fortunate we all were to have him as part of our team.

“He was well liked and respected amongst his peers and coaches and will sadly be missed by all at Fullerians Rugby Club. Our lasting memory being ‘a figure appearing on the field of play with a smile and hello for everyone’.”