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Football-mad son always happy to help

PUBLISHED: 10:27 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:22 05 July 2010

TRAGIC: Marc Parnell died last December.

TRAGIC: Marc Parnell died last December.

WARM tributes have been paid to a football-mad teenager who gave up much of his free time helping younger sportsmen.

Marc Parnell tragically died from an infection at the James Paget University Hospital just before Christmas.

WARM tributes have been paid to a football-mad teenager who gave up much of his free time helping younger sportsmen.

Marc Parnell tragically died from an infection at the James Paget University Hospital just before Christmas.

The eldest of five children, the 19-year-old was captain of a Lowestoft College team, where he was studying to be a mechanic and spent many a weekend with the Oulton Mariners under 13s where he would run the line or referee.

More than 270 people attended his funeral last week at St Peter's Church in Carlton Colville where a football was placed on his coffin and wreaths were laid in the shape of a Norwich City shirt of which he was an avid supporter.

His mother Anna, dad Adam and brothers Jude 15, and Ben, 17, told The Journal he was a great son and brother who had a textbook knowledge of football, while his tutors at college said there would always be a team sheet or two to be found when he handed in his coursework.

After displaying flu type symptoms, Marc complained of a pain in his lower right arm on December 20, which he put down to pulling a muscle.

But by the Tuesday he had woken at 5.30am in extreme pain, with his arm four times of what it should have been.

“I took Marc at 6.30am in the morning to the hospital and at first the nurse thought he had broken it, but after an x-ray we were told he must have had an infection under the skin,” said Adam, 45.

“At the time they decided to admit him over Christmas so they could put him on intravenous antibiotics so they could localise the infection,” said his mother Anna, 36.

But tragically during the evening Marc's condition took a turn for the worse and he died around 8.30pm.

A post mortem has shown that Marc had an abscess on his lung, which led to streptococcal septicaemia and pneumonia.

Adam said: “We've been told there's nothing we could have done. Marc was 19, he was at college, he loved his football - the hospital were surprised that somebody like that who was so fit would suddenly pass away like that, I don't think anyone knew how he got the infection. What I am finding hard is that he was dying beside me travelling up the A12 on that Tuesday morning.”

Marc's interest in football began at the age of six when he took part Football in the Community with Norwich City.

He was always keen to help young budding footballers and would voluntarily help the Oulton Mariners whenever he could, as well as take his younger brother Ellis, 9, to play football with his friends.

Marc, of Rounces Lane, Carlton Colville, would also watch Norwich City when he could and 16 friends attended a game in his memory on January 17.

Stuart Mack and Sara Webster, Marc's tutors at Lowestoft College said they would never forget Marc.

“Marc spent two years on the City and Guilds Preparing for Employment course and had recently been successful in gaining a place on the Motor Vehicle Engineering course - he had found his vocation in life,” said Mr Mack.

Alison Doherty of the Oulton Mariners said: “He was a lovely lad with a heart of gold. He was very popular with everyone.”

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