The heartbroken dad of a talented schoolboy who died after collapsing while playing football with friends has paid an emotional tribute to him.
Petro Dixon, 10, was with pals in Salford on Saturday when he suffered a cardiac arrest, believed to have been caused by a burst blood vessel in his brain.
Passers-by – including local rugby players – rushed to help him by performing CPR at Cadishead Recreation Ground, the Manchester Evening News reports .
Petro’s heart stopped for 20 minutes before ambulance crews managed to restart it.
He was taken to hospital and underwent two emergency operations to relieve the pressure on his brain, but tragically could not be saved.
In an emotional post on Facebook , Petro’s dad Pete Dixon said his loved one’s lives have been ‘turned upside down’.
He said they were ‘eternally grateful’ to everyone who fought to save his son, adding that he and his wife Jenna had chosen to donate Petro’s organs so he could give others the gift of life.
He loved nothing more than helping others and we know that’s what he would have wanted,” Pete wrote.
Petro was a member of De La Salle FC’s Under 11 squad, based in Salford.
The club posted the tragic news on its Facebook page, sharing a photo of Petro, a pupil at St Mary’s CE Primary School in Cadishead.
Coach Greig Aspinall described the youngster as a ‘talented player’ loved by everyone at the club.
He said the Petro had been a member of the De La Salle FC for two years and that his death had hit them all hard.
The post read: “Petro Dixon, 10 years old and a member of our U11s FC team here at De La Salle sadly passed away suddenly over the weekend.
“Everyone here at the club is truly devastated at losing such a wonderful young player.
“He was part of my team here and I can say he was a talented player who was loved by all his team mates and coaches. He will be sorely missed.
De La Salle FC would like to send our condolences to the family at this sad time.”
On Sunday, his team mates and coaches gathered at Cadishead Recreation Ground for a vigil in his memory.
They left behind flowers, a golden heart-shaped balloon, photographs and a football scarf.
Over the last two days, tributes have continued to pour in, with a fundraising page also being set up to raise money towards Petro’s funeral.
In just a day, more than 450 people have donated, raising an incredible £8,600.
The page was launched by Petro’s auntie, Natalie Dixon Fisher, who described her nephew as ‘beautiful and warm-hearted’.
She added: “Petro was truly one of a kind, with his infectious smile, his cheeky laugh, and his love for football and Arsenal FC, plus he always gave the best cuddles.
“Putting other people first, in true Petro style, in his final act of kindness Petro became an organ donor, changing the lives of people.”