Football club in Thornhill to retire shirt after sudden death of young player
A football club will retire its number 9 shirt in memory of a young player whose sudden death has shocked a community.
Saul Lee, described as a “massive character” whose smile lit up a room, played for Overthorpe Sports Club FC in Thornhill.
Saul’s body was found on a grassed area on Clarkson Street, Ravensthorpe, at just after 6am on Saturday.
Police closed Clarkson Street and North Road and a forensic tent was erected as investigations got underway.
West Yorkshire Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and a post-mortem examination was to be carried out.
Devastated friends have paid tributes to Saul on Facebook.
In a statement Overthorpe Sports Club described Saul as an “absolute pleasure to manage and coach - such a massive character to the whole football club.
“We pass our condolences and love to the whole of Saul’s family and friends in this difficult time.
“As a tribute from Overthorpe Sports Club FC we will be retiring the number 9 shirt in honour to his name.”
Best friend Chris Kelk told how he and Saul hit it off as soon as they met.
In an emotional post he wrote: “You’ve given me the best memories of my life and I love you more than words can ever say.
“You made everything 10x funnier wherever you went, you were the light at every party and you were the biggest light of my life.
“You became more of a brother to me than a best friend. I feel like half of me has gone. We were the duo and always will be.
“There’s no words to say how much I’m gonna miss you. Our bond was unmatched. You’ll always be my best friend.”
Alice Wood said: “Your smile was contagious and you lit up the room with your presence. Your life was cut short but you’ll be in everyone’s hearts forever.”
Brendan Fearn wrote: “I’ll never forget playing football for Battyeford always admiring how powerful your shots were and trying to copy, and being in school having me in bits laughing without even trying.”
Jack Wood said: “I hope you know how much you were loved and how many people cared about you.”
Alex Shaw wrote: “What a terrible, terrible loss to the world and everyone that was lucky enough to know him.
“Saul was a fantastic person with a real positive glow about him and when together we were always laughing.
“He was just 16/17 years old when I first played football with him, just a kid playing amongst men.
"We were only talking the other day how he managed to score many important goals that fired us to the league title that season. Like a young Robbie Fowler.”
A police spokesman said: “Inquiries are underway by Kirklees CID but the death is not being treated as suspicious at this time.”