A 17-YEAR-OLD footballer has tragically died after being electrocuted while playing football with his pals.
Luke Bennett was struck by 11,000 volts when a metal pole he was holding above his head touched, or made close contact to, an overhead power line as he played at Euxton Villa FC.
Luke's devastated dad sobbed at an inquest into his son's death as he recalled dropping him off as usual that fateful day.
Thomas Bennett described Luke, an AFC Fylde youth footballer from Chorley, Lancashire, as the "life and soul of the party" with an "infectious personality".
The talented young sportsman had spent time at the academies at Blackburn Rovers, Burnley FC and Preston North End before starting to play for AFC Fylde as a winger.
An inquest, held at County Hall in Preston, heard how in March 2021, Luke had met with seven of his friends who spent most of the day having a kickabout.
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At around 6pm three of the boys – Luke, Lewis Geszke and Ben Wilcock – began "messing about" with a metal pole used to separate the subs bench from the pitch.
But as they tried to straighten the pole a huge current surged through the metal and threw all three lads to the ground.
Luke initially stood up after the shock but his horrified mates watched on as he then collapsed to the ground.
Lewis and Ben were unconscious for a short period before waking up to see CPR being performed on Luke.
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Despite the best efforts of paramedics and a doctor, Luke's heart had "completely stopped" and he was pronounced dead just before 7pm.
The inquest – which began yesterday and is set to conclude today – heard that Luke's heart had been damaged so badly that he had little chance of surviving.
This was also added to the fact that his pals had been warned not to touch him until emergency services arrived.
Dad Thomas bravely took to the stand to pay tribute to his much-loved son.
The heartbroken father said: "He was very much the life and soul of the party.
"His personality was really quite infectious. He was very out-going and was riding a bike before you were supposed to. He just got on with things.
"It was amazing how he could do something without any real practice, he was that kind of lad. He just seemed to excel at pretty much all sports.
"He always asked us to take him to a friend's house or to play football somewhere at Buckshaw or Euxton.
"I said I'd take him and pick him up. I dropped him off, up the drive, which I've done dozens of times."
The coroner asked Mr Bennett how he and his wife, along with Luke's older brother Dylan, were doing since his death.
"Day by day," he replied as he began to cry. "It hasn't been easy."
AFC Fylde posted an emotional statement following Luke’s death at the time.
It read; "It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we must share the tragic news that AFC Fylde youth player Luke Bennett has passed away at the age of 17.
“Learning the news on Saturday evening has left us absolutely devastated and heartbroken. All our love goes out to Luke’s family and friends at this cruel and difficult time.
"Above all, Luke was a kind, popular young man who was much loved by his teammates and coaches.
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"He was somebody who could instantly light up a room with his bubbly personality. Then, on the field, he was a naturally gifted footballer who excelled every time he represented AFC Fylde.
“The pain of Luke’s sudden and untimely passing will be felt by our football club, supporters and all who ever had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in peace, ‘Lukey B’. The memory of you will always be in our hearts.”
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