Tributes after teenager dies suddenly at just 16

Hodgson Academyin Poulton. Scores of tributes have been paid to former pupil James Doherty

Hodgson Academyin Poulton. Scores of tributes have been paid to former pupil James Doherty

Tributes have been paid to a ‘popular and well-loved student’ following his sudden death.

The death of 16-year-old James Doherty, a pupil at Hodgson Academy in Poulton, has left the community ‘deeply shocked and saddened’, the school said.

All my thoughts when I think of James are of a boy full of life and promise

Staff have opened a book of condolence and will offer pupils counselling to help them cope with their grief.

A spokesman at the Moorland Road secondary school said: “The Hodgson community is deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of James Doherty.

“He was a popular and well-loved student with a promising future. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

“We, as a caring community, are coming together to support each other through this difficult time and have put additional pastoral provision in place for our students.”

The school said its new Express Diner will be open from 10am to 2pm each day for staff and students to visit and sign the book of condolence.

It will remain open until Tuesday, August 30.

James, a keen ice hockey player, was found hanged in in Cleveleys by a member of the public on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said.

His death is not being treated as suspicious, and a file was prepared and passed to the coroner, who will now open an inquest into the circumstances.

Dozens of heartfelt tributes have been paid to James, while flowers have also been laid by his devastated friends.

Cherly Brindle, headteacher at Breck Primary School, offered his family her love, while Hodgson teacher Michael Foster said he was ‘devastated’ by the news.

“All my thoughts when I think of James are of a boy full of life and promise,” he said.

“We had many many man to man chats over the years and it was always a pleasure to talk to such a well mannered and good natured young man.

“My deepest sympathy to his family who knew him so much better.”

Susan Emmett added: “I have such happy memories of James in my French lessons.

“He always brought a smile to my face. What a terrible loss. My prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends.”

And Beth Murphy said: “Every memory I have with James are all filled with happiness and laughter.

“James was such a joy to be around and always had a smile on his face and I’m deeply sorry for what has happened.

“James will be missed by many. Rest in peace.”

Due to turn 17 later this year, James is understood to have left Hodgson last month.

And messages posted to Facebook revealed just how popular he was with pals.

One friend, Eloise Fitzpatrick, said the tragedy didn’t ‘feel real’.

“Only a few weeks ago you were messing about in chemistry,” she wrote.

“Missed by everyone, we’ll certainly never forget the mad person you were. RIP.”

And Dayna Hall said: “Such a young life’s been taken, and such a sound lad.

“Thinking of his family right now. Party hard up there, James.”

Char Lindley added: “One of a kind you were, James. Can’t get my head round it just yet.

“Will be missed by so many, won’t ever forget the talks we had, and all the memories. See you on the other side. Love you always.”