Stamford Rugby Club has paid tribute to a much-loved sweet and happy five-year-old boy who sadly died suddenly last week, with more than £22,000 now raised in his memory.
Benedict Blythe, a pupil at Barnack Primary School in Stamford, died on Wednesday, December 1. His mum Helen posted an emotive tribute on Twitter with a photo of her son, with his cuddly toy monkey Ray, which received almost 880,000 reactions and more than 34,000 comments.
The little boy’s dad Pete used to play for Stamford Rugby Club and still attends matches and social functions, and his son’s death has touched the whole club, the local community and people across the country. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than £22,666 – make a donation here.
Stamford Rugby Club held a one-minute silence before their two home matches on Saturday and paid tribute to Benedict saying: “We are devastated to hear the news of the loss of Pete and Helen Blythe’s beautiful son Benedict.
“Pete has been such a part of our club – having played in the first team. He still comes down to training to support the lads and always has the banter in the WhatsApp groups.
“This is awful news has touched everyone, not just at the club, but also the Stamford community. Please, if you can, donate to their GoFundMe page.”
A GoFundMe page set up by Rebecca Mitchell has received more than 1,400 donations. She described Benedict as the “sweetest, happiest, most magical boy in the world”.
All the money raised will go towards Barnack Primary School, so that other children can learn like Benedict loved to, and for The Fenland Light Railway which Benedict loved so much.
Rebecca said said: “He was confident, compassionate and so witty. He’s asleep now, cuddling his monkey, Ray, who will look after him.
“Benedict loved to learn, he loved trains and he loved his friends. He skipped into his first day of school saying ‘I wonder what I will learn today mummy? He loved visiting The Fenland Light Railway too. We will always cherish the memories of doing the things he enjoyed as a family.”
Benedict’s death continues to touch the hearts of the local community, and a book with photographs of Benedict has been set up at Barnack Church for anyone wishing to visit, light a candle, or talk.
In response to the fundraiser, and all the tributes and messages, Helen said: “Thank you for the messages. I’ve not read them all, but the ones I’ve seen mean the world. For anyone who would like, we set up donations to go to the places he loves best and would love you to contribute.
“Reading the names and stories of all the children, seeing their faces and hearing their names has made this feel less lonely. I had never expected this, but being held by the many supportive hands and the kind words has given all of us who loved him so much comfort. Thank you.”