TRIBUTES have been paid to a young goalie whose sudden death has shocked the football community.
Zac Taylor was just 11-years-old when he died last Thursday after collapsing at his home in Skelmersdale.
Zac who played for Skelmersdale Junior Football League before moving to the Rainford Rangers FC, suffered from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition that causes the heart to beat abnormally fast for periods of time.
It is thought that Zac, a Manchester United fan, had family in the Wigan area where a number of clubs held a minute’s silence before their weekend games in his memory.
Zac, the youngest of five siblings, had been playing for the Rainford Rangers Amigos under 11s team at the time of his death.
Team manager Lee Grimwood today paid tribute to a “lovely lad”.
He said: “He was a pleasure to coach. Most of the time you wouldn’t know he was there, he just got on with it and listened.
“He was just a lovely kid who was amazing at football. We went to Barcelona last year on a tour and he actually scored two goals from his own goal.
“He got on with everyone too. They are a really close bunch and the rest of the lads are quite emotional at the moment.”
Zac’s previous team also issued a statement paying tribute to an “amazing goalkeeper” who loved life.
Skelmersdale JFL posted on Facebook: “We, on behalf of all the Skelmersdale Junior Football League players, managers, parents, would like to offer our sincere condolences and sympathy to the Taylor family on the sudden passing away of Zac.
“Zac was a happy, friendly 11 year old who had his whole life in front of him.
“He loved life and loved a good joke. He always had a beaming smile on his face and anyone who met him couldn’t help but love him.
“He loved his football too and enjoyed being a goalkeeper (keeping his family tradition)
“He was an amazing goalkeeper, the first team he played for was Skem United JFC with his friends. He got a reputation for being an excellent keeper and got his nickname Zac ‘the cat’
“He moved on to play for the Rainford Rangers Amigos which he loved and enjoyed everything the team accomplished with all his team mates.”
In a statement Rainford Rangers said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Zac Taylor’s passing last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with Zac’s family, friends and teammates at this extremely difficult time.”