Clubs have took to pay tribute after the death of 20 year old amateur footballer Luke Abrahams who was described as ‘incredible’ by friends.
The Northampton-based youngster died after a sudden “bacterial infection” on Monday (January 23rd) despite having his leg amputated in efforts to save him.
In the wake of his passing, a GoFundMe page was set up by 34 year old Jamie Podkowka, the manager for Northampton ON Chenecks’ Under 16s, where Luke’s brother Jake Abrahams also plays.
Jamie received a WhatsApp message within the parent group for players on the team, from Luke’s father Richard, on Monday morning.
It is with the greatest sadness that we had to say goodbye to Luke this week. He was a great player but an even better friend to us all. He started it all for the Hawks and we wouldn’t be here without him.
Till we see you again,
Rest Easy up there buddy,
Love your Hawks pic.twitter.com/TqyioVzPJs
— Hunsbury Hawks FC (@HunsburyHawksFC) January 24, 2023
Jamie said, as per NorthantsLive: “We’ve been on tours and I am friends with the family and we have a parent’s group where we can communicate everything. We had a message from Richard to say Luke had been rushed into hospital.
“Luke had to have his leg amputated and the next hour was crucial and he asked if ‘everybody could pray’ he got through it. We were just hoping he would pull through and about an hour and 15 minutes later, Richard messaged saying he hadn’t made it.
“There are literally no words. He is not far off the age of the kids that we coach so I think it hit a lot of people pretty hard.
“It hit us quite hard here because we’ve just had a newborn. You have that feeling as a parent and wondering what Richard and Julie were going through.”
According to Jamie, it was a “bacterial infection” that led doctors to amputate Luke’s leg. He had a “real slim chance” of survival. Now, those who admired Luke are trying to organise a tribute concert with the club.
Blisworth FC, Hunsbury Hawks FC, and AFC Spinney were also some of the teams Luke played for.
The next time Hunsbury Hawks play, on Sunday, January 29th, they will hold a moment of reflection in his memory. Those heading to the game is advised to be at Abington Park around 10.30am, pitch number 2.
On the donations and outpouring of support, Jamie said: “I never expected it to explode the way they did. I knew he was really really well like lad but it’s gained so much support which is overwhelming really.
“I know charity games are being set up as we speak as he’s played for a few teams. His parents would really like to highlight what happened and how quick it was.
“They said to me he had gone to the doctor on Tuesday (January 17) not feeling very well and they prescribed some antibiotics. They called the ambulance Friday (January 20) night and again on Sunday (January 22).
“His mum and dad were called to a hospital at 1am saying this is not good. They believe was caused by a scratch and it has just eaten away at his body.
“It was heart-wrenching when he said to me before Luke went down to theatre, he said ‘don’t worry about me, look after yourselves’ and that hit me pretty hard.”
Jamie said Luke was “really happy go lucky” and no one “ever saw a negative side to him”. He added: “His glass was always half full. If I’m honest, a little bit tongue in cheek, he loved a beer so it was never really half in that sense.
“He was an unbelievable kid. You wouldn’t have thought he was 20. He loved to play football, as you can probably tell by how many clubs he was involved with.
“He gave up his time on Sunday afternoon and midweek on a Wednesday to help us coach his brother. He was a really fun-loving, outgoing and caring kind of guy.
“I know no amount of money is going to bring Luke back but I thought if I could just do something that would allow people to show their support. Even if it was just to buy Luke a beer back that would have been enough.
“It is to allow them to give him the send-off that he would have deserved or that he would have wanted. That would be massive for the family.
So far, £10,040 has been raised of the £5,000 goal, three days since the page was set up.
Luke’s friends request West Ham United to remember him at their next home game, vs Chelsea on the 11th of February, by putting a message on the big screen at the London Stadium.
THE PAGE READS:
My name is Jamie Podkowka. It is with great sadness that I’m even writing this but yesterday 23/01/2023 Luke Abrahams lost his life at the tender age of just 20. It’s extremely difficult to even put into words how it feels.
Luke was an incredible human being, full of life and love (West Ham and Beer mainly) that I had the pleasure of knowing. Alongside his Dad, Richard, and I, he helped coach his younger brother’s (Jake) football team and gave up his time selflessly to develop not only the football skills of those younger than him but in creating unforgettable bonds and friendships amongst the whole team.
From what I know of Luke’s short stay, I know it was an eventful one. I’ll miss the re-run version of events on a Sunday afternoon from his wild Saturday nights and his extreme positivity behind his beloved Irons.
I’ve seen many tributes across social media and have heard of memorial fixtures being organised to remember Luke and I really wanted to reach out to everyone that knew Luke in any capacity to contribute to his send-off.
Richard, Julie and Jake would never ask of anything from anybody and I know no amount of money will ease the pain of their loss but I know Luke was loved by many and I certainly know that I still owed him a pint back.
Big Love and RIP Lukey… have a few on us all up there mate xx