Applause as England fans pay tribute to Leah Harrison, 10, during Lionesses' match at St James' park

The LED board inside the stadium displays a message in memory of Leah Harrison
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


England fans have paid tribute to Leah Harrison during the Lionesses' match against France at St James' Park.

The stadium erupted in applause for the 10-year-old at the tenth minute of the Euro qualifier match in Newcastle on Friday evening. Leah, a Year 6 pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School, in Darlington, died following a mudslide during a school trip at Carlton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday, May 22.

The crowd stood up and applauded for Leah as a picture of her was displayed on the screen. Billboards around the pitch said "For Leah. Forever a Lioness. 2013-2024"

Emergency services were called to North Yorkshire at around 1.15pm and later confirmed the schoolgirl had lost her life. Leah, described as a "happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl" who dreamt of playing for the Lionesses, has received an outpouring of tributes.

Leah Harrison who died during a mudslide
Leah Harrison who died during a mudslide -Credit:UGC

A statement from the team said: "The FA, Lionesses players and staff were devastated to hear of the tragic passing of 10-year-old Leah Harrison. Football was a source of joy in Leah's life and like so many young girls across the country it was her dream to play for the Lionesses. As the team head to the North East, Leah and her family and friends are in our collective thoughts.", reports Teesside Live.

"We ask fans to come together in the 10th minute of Friday's game against France at St James' Park in recognition of her life and in support of her family. To Leah, you will forever be a Lioness."

Darlington FC Youth, Leah's football team, described the young player as a "joy to coach" and a well-liked member of the squad. The club released a heart-wrenching statement: "The club would like to express its sincere condolences for the loss of Leah Harrison who was part of Darlington Youth FC's U11 girls' team.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends, and the other U11 girls who had dear friendships with Leah. The club would like to echo the thoughts of her manager. We are devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Leah Harrison."