‘We are heartbroken’: 9yo boy dies after being struck by lightning during thunderstorm while playing football in northern England

A nine-year-old boy has died after being struck by lightning during a thunderstorm while taking part in a training session in the Lancashire town of Blackpool, with police reporting that he was unable to be saved in hospital.

The child was injured on a playing field on Tuesday evening as a thunderstorm hit the north-western town.

Inquiries are still ongoing, with Lancashire Police and the team which uses the field, Spirit of Youth Junior FC, both said that the boy had been struck by lightning.

"This is a truly devastating incident and our thoughts are wholeheartedly with the family and friends of the young boy who has passed away at this very sad and distressing time," said Nick Connaughton, of the force whose officers are now supporting the boy's family.

Club secretary Daniel Pack reportedly said that three teams had been due to train on the same evening before their sessions were canceled due to the storm.

"It is with deepest regret that we have to report the news that the young boy who was struck by lightning earlier this evening has sadly passed away," the club said on Facebook.

"As a club, we are heartbroken and we offer our deepest condolences to the boy's family.

"Spirit of Youth is a family and we are entrenched in the local community, and we will give whatever support is required to both the family and to those that were with him at the time. Rest in peace, young man."

There was relief last year when Ivan Zaborovsky, a promising 16-year-old goalkeeper Znamya Truda, survived a similarly harrowing freak of nature.

Zaborovsky had to be put into a coma after being struck by lightning, with his ordeal caught on camera during a training session that was being filmed.

The youngster stopped breathing and collapsed to the ground in a puff of black smoke, but has since recovered and signed a new contract at the club.

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