Tributes have been paid to a teenager who collapsed and died during a national kickboxing competition.
Scott Marsden, 14, who won a 50kg gold title at the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) finals in Spain in 2015, needed urgent medical attention during an English title fight in near Leeds on Saturday. He was taken to hospital and died on Monday surrounded by his family.
Police are investigating the circumstances of his death but said they were not treating the incident as suspicious. The teenager from Sheffield was a member of Marsden’s All Styles kickboxing club, which was set up by his father, Simon, and uncle Darren. On Tuesday the club set up a fundraising page for Scott and paid tribute to the teenager: “Our lovely Scotty, who suffered an injury on Saturday whilst doing the thing he loved, kickboxing, sadly never recovered and took his final bow surrounded by his family and people who love him in the early hours of this morning.” It added: “Scott was not only a kickboxer though, he is a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin and a friend.”
The fight was held at the Leeds martial arts college in Morley. It had to be stopped and a statement on the club’s website said everything had been done to protect both fighters. “There was no way to foresee the fight ending in such a way as at no point were either [fighter] ever in any overwhelming danger from each other. “Everyone is still in shock as there were simply no signs to suggest the fight needed to be stopped. The referee stepped in to protect Scott as soon as he could, which meant Scott did not hit the canvas and was laid down and straight into recovery position.”. The club said training has been cancelled until further notice and asked people to respect the family’s privacy.
The WKA England president, Jon Green, posted on Facebook: “Not just WKA but the world of kickboxing is mourning such a well-loved and respected fighter and sportsman. “One of our finest champions in every sense in the ring and true ambassador of the values out of the ring. A smile that lit you up to see his face and receive it.” He said there were “no failings on either teams” and the “promoter had everything in place”, adding that the ringside paramedics “fought tirelessly to keep Scott with us”. Green said: “Our sport is a contact sport, but every precaution is in place to have protection and to be able respond to keep our fighters safe.”Marsden was a pupil at Forge Valley school in Sheffield. The school’s headteacher, Dale Barrowclough, said everyone was “deeply saddened” by his death. “Scott was a very popular young man among pupils and staff alike and it is without doubt that he had a very bright sporting future ahead of him.” Barrowclough said it had been a very difficult few days for the school. “Pupils have been, and continue to be, supported by staff and fellow pupils alike. It is testament to them all that they have dealt with this tragic news in such a mature and respectful way.”