Mourners gather for funeral of Bray youngster Aaron (12)

The young footballer from Bray who passed away suddenly last week has been remembered as someone who overcame shyness and anxiety to be a passionate and talented young man.

Aaron O’Kelly, who would have celebrated his 13th birthday yesterday, became ill last Wednesday, and took an unfortunate turn for the worst at home on Saturday. He was rushed to hospital but sadly passed away with family by his side.

At today’s funeral, Aaron’s father Paul spoke of their shock today at his funeral, initially thinking it was a vomiting bug. The father praised the work of the first responders, ambulance crew, and Gardaí for their help and assistance.

A youngster who suffered from nervousness and anxiety, Paul said his son got over this through the help of his school teachers and members of the Ardmore Rovers football club.

Paul spoke of Aaron’s love of football, and said his wife Sharon “built that young man brick by brick” such as by helping him learn football in the back garden.

An outpouring of grief and support was shown towards the family in the wake of the shocking news. Mourners came out in droves wearing red at the request of the family. Members of the Ardmore Rovers formed a guard of honour at the church.

Republic of Ireland and Middlesborough goal keeper Darren Randolph, who previously played with Ardmore, paid his respects through social media:

 

At today’s mass, Aaron’s sister Eleanor sang a hymn and comforted her little brother Robert through the funeral.

A football, a basketball, a set of toy Nerf guns, and a gaming controller were placed at the altar as symbols of Aaron’s life.

Aaron’s remains were brought to Springfield Cemetery in Bray for burial.

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