Football club captain dies, aged 21, as players raise £4,000 to support family

A popular football captain who was the "heart" of the club has tragically died at the age of 21.

Shaun Alex Young, from Tonyrefail, Wales, sadly passed away on Sunday, March 1.

He was the captain of Ely Valley Football Club’s senior side and had been playing for the team since it started three years ago.

Shaun’s tragic death is not being treated as suspicious and the team’s coach, Andrew Deans, hopes to encourage more men to speak about mental health.

Mr Deans said Shaun was “loyal on and off” the field and was “respected” by the rest of his team.

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Andrew Deans, the team’s coach, told Wales Online: “Shaun was a great captan.

“Loyal on and off the field.

“He always led by example and was respected by the rest of his team and opposition.

“His performances were consistent and I couldn’t have asked for a better captain.

“It’s going to be tough.

“We all miss him so much but he will be with us every step of the way.

“We will hold Shaun’s memory forever, we as a club will never forget Shaun.”

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Shaun started out his career at Ely Valley FC as a goalkeeper before playing outfield.

Andrew said Shaun became “the heart” of the team’s defence and was a “huge character.”

He said: “The lad and myself love Shaun, he was a top guy, great footballer, and was a huge character.

“We’ve all stuck together and met up regularly which is very important.

“We’ve encouraged everyone to talk to each other.

“We are a very close team and organise a lot social nights out as well as playing football.”

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Ely Valley FC will be hosting a memorial game in memory of Shaun on Saturday, March 14.

The club also set up a fundraising page to support Shaun’s family and had hoped to raise £1,000.

But as word spread of Shaun’s tragic death, the fundraiser has now reached £4,236 by 170 supporters.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans websit

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