A FOOTBALL-MAD boy, 10, collapsed and died while playing with pals in the park after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Petro Dixon is thought to have burst a blood vessel in his brain while out on a Salford recreation ground on Saturday.
Passers-by – including rugby club players – raced to his aid and performed CPR on the schoolboy until paramedics arrived.
Petro’s heart stopped for 20 minutes before ambulance crews managed to restart it.
He was rushed to hospital where he underwent two emergency operations to relieve the pressure on his brain, but could not be saved.
Writing on Facebook, Petro’s dad Pete Dixon said their lives had been “turned upside down”.
He said they were “eternally grateful” to everyone who had tried to save his son’s life, and that they were donating Petro’s organs so he could save other people’s lives.
“He loved nothing more than helping others and we know that’s what he would have wanted,” he wrote.
Petro’s football club, the De La Salle FC’s Under 11 squad, posted the tragic news on its Facebook page.
Coach Greig Aspinall described the Arsenal supporter as a gifted player who had been with the club for two years.
The post read: “Petro Dixon, 10 years old and a member of our U11s FC team here at De La Salle sadly passed away suddenly over the weekend.
“Everyone here at the club is truly devastated at losing such a wonderful young player.
“He was part of my team here and I can say he was a talented player who was loved by all his team mates and coaches. He will be sorely missed.
Petro was truly one of a kind, with his infectious smile, his cheeky laugh, and his love for football and Arsenal FC, plus he always gave the best cuddles.
Petro's aunt, Natalie Dixon Fisher
“De La Salle FC would like to send our condolences to the family at this sad time.”
On Sunday his team mates and coaches gathered at the site of his collapse, Cadishead Recreation Ground, for a vigil.
More than 450 people have already donated £8,600 towards his funeral after his aunt, Natalie Dixon Fisher, started the crowdfunder for her “beautiful and warm-hearted” nephew.
She wrote: “Petro was truly one of a kind, with his infectious smile, his cheeky laugh, and his love for football and Arsenal FC, plus he always gave the best cuddles.
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“Putting other people first, in true Petro style, in his final act of kindness Petro became an organ donor, changing the lives of people.”
Details of Petro’s funeral arrangements will be released in the coming days.
Anyone who wishes to donate can visit the Justgiving page here.
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