TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular and committed Burgh footballer who collapsed and died after a training session in Skegness.
The Target understands that Craig Rawlinson, 18, of Burgh-le-Marsh was taken to Boston's Pilgrim Hospital after collapsing on the pitch during training in Skegness on Thursday evening.
At the weekend, rivalries were put aside as local football teams sent their condolences to Craig's friends and family and a one-minute silence was held in his memory.
Close family friend Jason Reid, who helped Craig's father Paul to run Burgh Town Football Club, said: "I really don't know where to start.
"Craig was a beautiful person inside and out who loved football, his family and his friends so much.
"I've known him since birth and have watched him grow from a little baby into a 6ft 1" strapping young man.
"He will be missed so much."
Burgh Town FC's match was cancelled on Saturday out of respect for Craig and his family.
At the weekend Skegness Town Football Club also paid their respects as Craig and his dad were ex-players and Paul had managed the club's Reserves.
Chairman of the club Nigel West said: "The main thing was for us to come together as a club and honour the Rawlinson family by winning for Craig.
"We all wanted to put in a performance for them to be proud of and the lads delivered that.
"Before kick-off a minute's silence was observed by both clubs as a mark of respect for Craig and Town's players wore black armbands."
Floral tributes, signed football shirts and personal messages have been laid outside the Red Lion in Burgh Le Marsh where Craig worked.
Pub landlord, Max Waxman said: "He was truly a lovely lad with a heart of gold who was very popular with the locals.
"He has worked with us for several months and was truly a Burgh lad.
"We are so proud of the massive turnout of people who have got together to console and pass on their condolences to each other.
"I hope Craig is proud of all the people who thought well of him and realises how much he will be missed."
Burgh sports field has also been opened for floral tributes.
Craig was a pupil at St Clement's College just before the establishment of Skegness Academy.
In tribute, acting principal Ian Corns said: "Craig was a lovely lad from a wonderful family and he will be greatly missed.
"Skegness and the surrounding area is a poorer place without him - this has been truly tragic."
An inquest is due to be opened later this week.