Tributes have been paid to an 11-year-old boy who “would have done anything for anyone” after he died suddenly in his sleep.
Alfie Humphreys, a Widnes FC footballer, sadly died on Friday and was found by his mother after he didn’t wake up.
It is not clear at this stage what caused Alfie’s death.
Loving tributes have now flooded in for the football mad boy, who went to the Ormiston Chadwick Academy in Widnes, Cheshire.
Thousands has also been raised in his memory by the close-knit club.
Paying tribute to her son, Alfie’s mum Nicola Whitfield said: “He was such a lovely boy and he had a heart of gold, and I know everyone says that about their children, but he would have done anything for anyone, especially me.
“He’d have done anything for me, absolutely anything. He was my best friend.”
Nicola, 35, said Alfie, from Widnes, had started high school in September and was loving school, despite not being able to be physically there as much this year in lockdown.
She said he was “coming out of his shell” as he settled in, making new friends at the new school, and couldn’t wait to go back.
The Everton -mad schoolboy was devoted to his family and dearly loved his mum and dad, Wayne Humpreys, 43, as well as stepdad Harry Pierce, and was a brilliant older brother to Dylan, Charlie, Riley and Jamie.
Nicola said: “He absolutely doted on them [his siblings], he couldn’t do enough for them. He used to always come down and play-fight with them.”
Stepmum Lisa Barton said Alfie was a well-loved figure in the community and used to love playing football outside with his siblings.
Lisa, 34, said: “He was always out playing on his bike or his scooter, or playing football with his friends. He was very well-liked and very kind-hearted. He was never any trouble, ever.
“If he could help you in any way he really would, especially his family. If he could do anything for his family, he would.
“If his mum sent him to the shop it was never too much.”
Lisa and Nicola said Alfie was a passionate football fan and it is hoped Everton-themed tributes can be paid to him at his funeral.
Lisa said: “He’s played football since school, but even in pictures of him as a toddler he had a football. He loved playing football and he was a massive Everton FC fan. His grandads are both massive fans.
“His mum lives in a cul-de-sac and when we give him his final send-off we’d love an Everton flag on every house.”
Nicola added: “He loved Everton and couldn’t wait to go [and see them]. I’ve asked all my neighbours to put flags out for him, he absolutely adored the club.”
It’s also hoped special football strips with Alfie’s name on the back can be worn by his younger brothers.
Since Alfie’s death, Linzi Davies organised a gofundme page on behalf of Widnes FC for Alfie and the family.
The page has so far raised more than £17,000 as kind donations from well-wishers and other grass-roots clubs flood in.
Nicola said: “I cant believe the support I’ve had, it’s just been amazing. I’m so overwhelmed.”
Lisa added: “I can’t thank Linzi enough, it’s amazing.”
Writing on the page, Linzi said: “The whole of the close-knit Widnes FC family is shocked and saddened the news. Alfie was an integral part of the U12 Wyverns team and above all else a friend. His loss has sent shockwaves through us all.
“With the family’s blessing we are asking for any donations to help cover funeral costs or anything that can help support the family going forward. In true Widnes FC spirit, we know we will all come together as one, like we have always done, to show our love and support for an amazing young footballer and his family.
“Our thoughts and love go out to everyone close to Alfie at this incredibly sad time.”