Calderdale high school and football clubs pay tribute to talented teenager Tomi Solomon after Brighouse river tragedy

More tributes have been paid to a talented Calderdale teenager “with an infectious smile” who died while playing in the river in Brighouse.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 8:36 am
Updated Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:26 pm
Tomi Solomon (picture Bradford City AFC)

Young footballer Tomi Solomon, 13, was described by his headteacher at Brighouse High School as a “positive, supportive and friendly” student who had a wide circle of friends.

In a letter to parents, Richard Horsfield said: “It is with much sadness that I have to inform you of the loss of one of our students, Tomi, after a tragic accident in the River Calder on Tuesday.

“Brighouse High School and the surrounding area is a close community and we know that many students and local people will be deeply upset by Tuesday’s events and I wanted to communicate with you all at this very sad time.

“I spoke to Tomi’s family yesterday and our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with them at this most difficult time; I am sure that you are all thinking of them too.

“Tomi was a positive, friendly and supportive member of our community who had a wide circle of friends and had built strong relationships with staff.

“He was always happy to spend time talking about football and his energy and smile were infectious.

“We are proud to have been part of his life and to have had him as part of ours.

“We will continue to think of his family and all of his friends at this most difficult time and will do all we can as a close-knit school to support them.”

Extra support will be available for students, he said, and pupils will be able to contribute to a book of memories.

The Soccer aKIDemy, where Tomi used to train, posted on Facebook: “It is with the heaviest heart we write this post to wish a sad farewell to a diamond child.

“Little Tomi Solomon graced our sessions as a seven, eight, nine and 10-year-old before Bradford City Academy saw his potential and snapped him up.

“He played with the loveliest smile. He just loved his football and was a dream to coach and a blessing to watch.

“He moved so smoothly across the pitch and although he played with aggression on the pitch he was the nicest little boy off it.

“Our deepest condolences go out to Tomi’s family at this difficult time from all his football family at akidemy.

“RIP little Tomi. You will always be in our hearts.”

Calderdale Schools Football Association said Tomi had been picked for its under-14s squad next season.

It Tweeted that a minute’s silence had been held before its games on Saturday.

“Calderdale and Bradford Schools played in honour of Tomi Solomon today. A minute’s applause before KO.

“You’ll be missed but never forgotten, keep smiling Tomi.”

Brighouse Town also paid tribute on Twitter: “We’d like to send our deepest condolences to the family of Brighouse lad and @officialbantams academy player Tomi Solomon.

“Such a sad loss to the footballing and wider community.”

As reported by the Courier, Tomi was a talented footballer and played for the academy at Bradford City.

The youngster was playing by the River Calder, in Brighouse, with friends on Tuesday afternoon when he got into difficulties, police said.

Officers were called to the river at 2.38pm and an urgent search was conducted by specialist teams.

Tragically, the teenager’s body was pulled out of the river a short time later.