Bradford City have been left saddened by the death of academy player Tomi Solomon, aged just 13 years of age, the club confirm.
The League Two outfit, who currently looks set to be managed by Derek Adams, with confirmation likely to come on Friday, tweeted the tragic news to their followers on Thursday.
Tributes have poured out by fans, staff, players and many social media users up and down the nation and Bantams supporters across the globe.
🙏 | We are mourning the loss of academy player Tomi Solomon – who has tragically passed away aged 13.
— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) June 3, 2021
Bradford City AFC is mourning the loss of academy player Tomi Solomon, who has tragically passed away.
Solomon represented City’s under-13s side, having spent the past three seasons with the Bantams.
The thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family, friends, team-mates and loved ones at this difficult time.
City’s academy manager, Neil Matthews, said: “We are devastated to hear of this news about Tomi, and our thoughts are with his family at this time.
“Tomi was very popular and well thought of, by all the staff who had the pleasure of working with him. He will be deeply missed by all involved with Bradford City.”
The club’s chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, said: “We are heartbroken by the news of Tomi’s tragic passing. Our immediate thoughts are with his family, friends, team-mates and coaches.
“We will remain close with all those who knew Tomi – and offer them any support they may need – during what is undoubtedly an incredibly challenging time.”
Tomi Solomon was out having fun during the half term school holidays by the River Calder, in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, on Tuesday afternoon when he got into difficulties.
The young lad was with a group of around 15 girls and boys in a quiet spot where the slow moving river flows through an industrial estate on the outskirts of Brighouse.
Friends of his decorated a red football with tributes to the teenager, writing “RIP Tomi” along with moving tributes.
Flowers and cards were also left on the railings overlooking the River Calder by loved ones and locals who were shocked by the tragedy.
One message read: “To Tomi. We a only spoke once a day but you was the nicest lad I had ever met, you brought spirit into a silent room.
“You don’t understand how much you meant to everyone. Heaven is lucky to have you. Gone too early but never forgotten.
“Love you Tomi rest easy.”
Another friend wrote on social media: “Please this summer be careful where you go and what you are jumping off, as one of my friends had died earlier today.
“My love goes out for all his close mate and family. RIP Tomi.”
Children were reportedly playing near the water during their half-term break from school on the hottest day of the year.
A worker from a nearby unit said: “The kids started to arrive at the bridge from about 1.30pm.
“They were coming in threes and fours and had obviously organised to meet up and swim in the hot weather.
“There were quite a few of the lads jumping in from the bridge, swimming to the side, climbing out up the grass bank and then jumping in again. They looked to have been having a great time.
“Then we heard the girls screaming and then the police and air ambulance arrived.
“This is a regular spot for kids when it’s warm weather.”
The drop from the foot bridge to the water below is about 12ft, with floral tributes being left on the railings the youngster, who was a pupil at Brighouse High School, clambered over to make the fatal jump.
Richard Brewster, 34, visited the site of the tragedy to pay his respects, saying: “My 15 year old son was playing here with them half an hour before the lad drowned.
“It’s awful what has happened, but kids just don’t realise the dangers of water until something like this happens.
“My lads would have been here if he’d not had to leave to go to rugby practice.
“After he’s left he got a call on his mobile from one of his mates telling him the lad had drowned in the river.”
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (WYFRS) has since pleaded with the public to “think twice” before entering canals and rivers.
Andy Rose, group manager at WYFRS, said: “Unfortunately, during periods of warm weather, we tend to see these figures rise with people entering canals and rivers to cool down and swim.
“As appealing as this may seem, there are many hidden dangers that have tragically taken lives and I would urge members of the public to think twice before entering due to the potential unseen hazards and risks.”
West Yorkshire Police add that they, and partner agencies, were called to at 2.38pm on Tuesday (June 1) to reports a child who had been playing with friends had got into difficulties in water at the River Calder.
An urgent search was conducted by specialist fire service colleagues and police. Tragically, the body of a 13-year-boy was recovered.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Baker, District Commander of Calderdale Police, said: “We are continuing our enquiries with partners. Whilst investigations into what took place are at an early stage, indications are that this is a tragic incident in which a teenage boy has lost his life.
“Specially trained officers are working to support the victim’s family at this devastating time, and our thoughts are with them.
“I would ask anyone who saw what happened and who may have not yet spoken with authorities, to contact Calderdale CID on 101 referencing police log 989 of June 1st.”
Fans reacted as Bradford City reveal their are left saddened by the death of a academy player aged 13…
@NCAFCBenjyy: Condolences to all that knew him. Rip litle man ❤️
@SmithLeedsUtd: Rest In Peace little man 🙏💜 Condolences to your family, sleep well ❤ xx
@_allmodcons2305: Such sad news..sincere condolences to his family and friends..RIP
@Armsden1: So sad to lose a young talent in this tragic accident RIP lad always a bantam up there with the others ❤💛❤💛💔
@bramleybantam: Absolutely heartbreaking 💔💔. Such a tragic accident. R.I.P little man, thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends . #riptomi
@MorecambeFCFeed: Really sad news. Condolences to his family, the club and everyone who knew him.
@DarrylMoulson: Absolute tragedy, RIP little man, and my thoughts are with your family, friends and teammates 💙
@will_hancock17: way too young RIP
@AntonyGibbo24: Horrible news, R.I.P little man. Thoughts with the family ♥️💛
@IHemmens: How awful, RIP young man
@MarcBaulk: Terrible news. Rest in peace, young man.
@DGreen1989: Horrible news, thoughts are with his friends and family. RIP Tomi
@Jamesmulligan89: Awful news. Thoughts with all of those connected to him. Rest easy little man.
@AlexRed00561762: That is awful. Condolences to everyone who knew him❤️❤️
@777kop: RIP young man. Wow so heartbreaking
@Pafc_James: 13, life is so unfair