MUM: 'HE NEVER HAD A BAD WORD TO SAY ABOUT ANYONE...HE WAS A LOVELY BOY'
January 18, 2006
THE death of young football star Mark Philo has left a devastating hole in his family’s life.
Speaking to the The Wokingham Times his mother Christine Philo said the night police officers knocked on her door with the terrible news was one she would never be able to forget.
The officers woke Mrs Philo up at 3am on Saturday to sayher son was at Royal Berkshire Hospital with serious injuries.
Mrs Philo, along with Mark’s two sisters Louise, 26, Carlene, 24, 15-year-old brother Matthew and father Pas, rushed to the hospital where they stayed by his side all through the night.
A further 40 friends and family joined them later in the morning to give support to the grief stricken family.
Mark died at 4.20pm.
Mrs Philo said his death had left a huge gap in their lives and paid tribute to the youngster for the close relationship he had with his family and friends and his ambitions to be a football star.
“Mark was a very talented boy,” she said.
“Since he was at school he was always interested in football, his dad would take him to the park to play and we could see quite early on he had a talent.
“More important than his talent though was the fact he was really popular.
“Mark was known by a lot of people in Crowthorne. He was witty and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
“He was a lovely boy and meant a lot to all his family and friends.
“Mark really will be missed, he was close to all his family, especially his younger brother. It is going to be hard not having him here.”
When Mark was a pupil at Oaklands Junior School in Crowthorne he won several trophies and awards in high jump competitions.
At just eight-years-old Mark signed up at the sporting academy of West Ham United before going on to Crystal Palace.
Mark, who was a midfielder, then went on to join Wycombe Wanders FC at 15 where he joined their junior squad and was later offered a full contract.
Mark’s short career had been interrupted by injury last year, when he was out for seven months after breaking both his ankles.
But he had recently returned to the game and last Saturday was due to play against Notts County.
Chris Duffy, who is married to Mark’s sister Louise, told The Times: “He was the most genuine person you could ever meet.
“No-one had a bad word to say about him. You could not meet a nicer man, it is not often you find someone like Mark.”
L Robert Elsey, headteacher at Edgbarrow School in Crowthorne where Mark had been a pupil, said staff, pupils and governors were all
devastated to hear about his death.
Mr Elsey said: “Our sincere condolences go to his family.
“Mark was a great sportsman who played school football before being discovered and going on to play for Wycombe Wanderers.
“He was a smashing lad and a very popular boy who is still fondly remembered by many people at Edgbarrow.
“Our condolences also go to the family of the other victim of this terrible accident.”