UK football academy mourns loss of Thai boy who survived flooded cave

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UK football academy mourns loss of Thai boy who survived flooded cave

UK football academy mourns loss of Thai boy who survived flooded cave


The English football academy Duangphet “Dom” Promthep was attending when he died on Tuesday is working closely with the Royal Thai Embassy in the United Kingdom to arrange memorial events for him, according to one of two heartfelt letters from the school to parents and caregivers of its students.

“We are communicating a message that no Principal or School Proprietor would ever wish to pass on,” begins the letter sent on Wednesday by Brooke House College Principal Ian Smith. “With the heaviest of hearts [we] inform you that Duangphet Promthep, known to many as Dom, passed away yesterday afternoon.”

“We have lost one of our own,” Smith wrote.

Duangphet, 17, was one of the 12 members of the Wild Boar football team trapped in Tham Luang Cave by flooding for 17 days in 2018 before he, his teammates, and coach were rescued.

Duangphet received a scholarship to study at Brooke House Academy, located about 150 kilometres north of London, in August last year, and subsequently flew to England in September.

Duangphet was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment on Sunday, the letter said.

He remained in critical condition under the care of a dedicated medical team, while three members of the college – including its principal – were at his side when he passed away, the letter says.

“Duangphet was a popular boy who conducted himself with generosity of spirit … He will be hugely missed,” it says.

The college said activities are being organised for Duangphet in collaboration with the Royal Thai Embassy in the United Kingdom. Mentor groups are being created to help his friends deal with his passing, and a book of condolences will allow them to express their emotions.

UK football academy mourns loss of Thai boy who survived flooded cave
UK football academy mourns loss of Thai boy who survived flooded cave

In June 2018, the world was transfixed for 17 days as an elaborate international mission unfolded to rescue 12 members of the Wild Boars football team and their coach after they were trapped by rising water in a Chiang Rai cave system.

The 200-metre-deep Chamber 1, which visitors use to enter the complex, was the command centre for a rescue operation led by Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn and Thai Navy Seals. Duangphet was part of the second group of boys carried out of the cave on July 9.

The Wild Boars became celebrities. A series of films and documentaries were made about their ordeal and survival.

In August last year, Duangphet thanked the Sports Education Foundation, Zico Foundation, and Brooke House for granting him the scholarship.

He also thanked Vachiralai Bee School, Thai football manager and ex-player Kiatisuk “Zico” Senamuang, for their support, saying: “I promise to work hard and do my best.”

“In the days ahead, I am sure we will all reflect on Dom’s life, which saw significant moments of challenge and adversity as well as great moments of personal and sporting accomplishment,” Smith wrote.

Related stories:

Kiatisuk says ex-Wild Boar Duangphet, who died in England, dreamt of playing for Thailand

Thai boy saved from flooded cave dies in UK accident

Heavy rains keep Tham Luang caves closed for now

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