YOUNG VOICES

Student James Houghton Dies After Collapsing At Leeds Festival

28/08/2013 14:23 BST | Updated 28/08/2013 14:29 BST

A student who was a talented musician and had plans to go to Manchester University has died after collapsing at Leeds Festival last weekend.

Teenager James Houghton, who was described as a popular guitarist, had travelled to the event with friends. The death of the 19-year-old, from Hartlepool, is not being treated as suspicious, but police are investigating the "unexplained" incident.

A spokeswoman said: "West Yorkshire Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the unexplained death of a 19-year-old man at the Leeds Festival.

"Police officers working at the festival were called to the on-site medical facilities at 11.22pm on Sunday August 25, following his collapse elsewhere on site.

"He was pronounced dead at the festival site. Police are not treating the death as suspicious at this time.

"Members of his family have been notified of his death."

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said local officers informed his family of the death.

His mother Paula is a deputy head of year at Manor College of Technology, where her son was a pupil.

He was due to take a place at Manchester University.

The teenager was a keen guitarist who was involved with the Red Dreams charity which nurtures young talent.

leeds festival

It was founded by Dawn McManus after the death of her son Kyle, aged 16, from a brain haemorrhage in 2007.

She said: "A lot of young people who were James's friend were also our son's friend.

"They have lost two close friends in a number of years and that should never happen, should it?

"James was very sociable, very funny, a very good guitarist and was in a band here for a number of years.

"He was so lovely and his family are as well.

"Music is the biggest part of a lot of these young people's lives and to go to festivals like that is sometimes their dream.

"Everyone is in a state of shock. All we can do is support his friends."

Stuart Lamb, store manager of Hartlepool's Marks and Spencer, where James had a part-time job, said: “We are deeply sorry to hear the news and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.

“James worked with us for around a year and only recently left as he was planning to study at Manchester University. He was a very well respected and popular member of the team.”

Anne Malcolm, headteacher at Manor College, said the school extended its support to his mother, father Pete and sister Jenny.

She was out of the country and unavailable for comment but told the Hartlepool Mail that the popular, intelligent teenager was one of the highest-performing pupils when he left in 2010.

She told the paper: "James was a bright light who will be greatly missed."