The family of a football-mad 13-year-old girl who died suddenly last week have spoken of their loss.
Stacey Harris died at Hereford County Hospital last Friday night after she was discovered unconscious in her bedroom.
The teenager's mother Wendy, of Wessington Drive, Hereford, said yesterday: "Stacey was a wonderful girl who was football mad. She took the sport very seriously and was a dedicated Leeds United fan, just like her dad.
"Not only was she a fan of the sport, but she played it too. Since the age of ten Stacey had been a member of FC Phoenix, playing every weekend during the season and attending regular training sessions at the Leisure Centre.
"She was a fit girl and loved her game".
Stacey was due to collect a medal at an awards ceremony this weekend after taking part in a cup final with FC Phoenix in May. This ceremony has now been cancelled as a mark of respect.
Stacey's older sister Nicole, 17, spoke of her sister's passion for animals.
"Stacey loved animals and in particular she adored horses. She had a hamster that she spoilt rotten, spending her newspaper delivery money on weekly treats for her," she said.
Stacey was particularly close to her father David, who shared her love of football. Speaking about his youngest daughter, David said: "Stacey was a popular girl with a strong will and determined character. She was never frightened to stand up for herself, had a terrific sense of humour and was great fun to be with. Of all her interests, football was Stacey's life and she and I went to support Hereford United Football Club as much as possible when they played at home".
The headteacher of Aylestone High School, which Stacey attended, also paid tribute: "She was a cheerful, confident teenager with an enormous sense of humour who loved her football and will be missed by everyone whose lives she touched.
"Our thoughts at this time are with Stacey's family as they attempt to come to terms with this dreadful tragedy. "I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that they must be experiencing. I hope they will be allowed to grieve with respect, dignity and privacy".
Mr Byatt broke the news of her death to her Year 8 friends during a special assembly on Monday morning.
Mrs Harris added: "Stacey was a very special young girl who was just beginning to blossom into a beautiful young woman.
"She was the apple of her father's eye and adored by us all. Five to eleven - the time we found Stacey - will always haunt us, but I guess time will also help to heal the pain and bring back the good memories and the fun times we spent together."