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A football club has been left "heartbroken" after a nine-year-old boy died when he was struck by lightning on their home ground.
The tragic boy, who has not yet been named, died after being hit by a bolt on a football field in Blackpool, Lancashire.
Spirit of Youth, a junior football club, confirmed the horrific incident occurred at their home ground.
They said they are "heartbroken" by the death of the boy, who they added was not taking part in a club training session when tragedy struck just after 5pm on Tuesday.
A club spokesman said: "It is with deepest regret that we have to report the news that the young boy who was struck by lightning earlier this evening has sadly passed away.
"The tragic incident happened on our home ground at Common Edge playing fields but it was not during a club training session.
"As a club, we are heartbroken and we offer our deepest condolences to the boy's family.
"Spirit of Youth is a family and we are entrenched in the local community, and we will give whatever support is required to both the family and to those that were with him at the time.
"We would ask that people respect the privacy of the family at this most tragic of times.
"Rest In Peace young man."
Lancashire Police were called to the scene after reports a child had been injured.
Emergency services attended and the boy was taken to hospital but died a short time later.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "Although enquiries are still ongoing, at this time we believe the boy had been struck by lightning."
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The boy's family have been informed and are being supported by officers, the force said.
Det Supt Nick Connaughton added: "This is a truly devastating incident and our thoughts are wholeheartedly with the family and friends of the young boy, who has passed away, at this very sad and distressing time."
Tributes poured in for the boy on social media.
One said: "This is so so sad. Poor boy and his family. No words can describe how awful this is."
Another read: "This is truly heartbroken. No words can describe what the family and friends are going through.
"My thoughts with them all at this devastating time."
A third said: "Good grief, the poor lad, probably enjoying time with his friends playing footie, life is so cruel sometimes."
- In the News
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