Leah Harrison mudslide tragedy: England fans honour schoolgirl with applause during Lionesses' match

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

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

The 10-year-old was honoured with a round of applause in the tenth minute of the Euro qualifier match in Newcastle on Friday evening. Leah, a Year 6 student at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Darlington, tragically lost her life in a mudslide during a school trip at Carlton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday, May 22.

As a picture of Leah was displayed on the screen, the crowd rose and clapped. Billboards around the pitch read "For Leah. Forever a Lioness. 2013-2024".

READ MORE: Leah Harrison's tragic mudslide death to be investigated by police, council and safety chiefs

Emergency services were called to the outdoor education centre, run by Hartlepool Council, around 1.15pm and later confirmed the sad news of the schoolgirl's passing. Leah, remembered as a "happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl" who dreamt of playing for the Lionesses, has been the recipient of numerous tributes.

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."

They asked 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," the statement continued.

Darlington FC Youth, where Leah played, have paid tribute to the young footballer, calling her a "joy to coach" and a popular team member. The club issued an emotional statement, saying: "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."