A SCHOOLBOY footy star tipped as a future Man City striker accidentally strangled himself with a blanket as he and his younger brother were playing a camping game in their bedroom, an inquest heard, The Sun reports. Tragic Aaron Asiedu, 11, was using the blanket to construct a makeshift hammock from his bunk bed when he fell and became entangled by his neck in the material.
Younger brother Joshua, aged nine, at first thought his older brother was playing as he lay motionless on the floor – but when he got no response screamed for their mum Geraldine, 41. Mrs Asiedu and daughter Hillary, 16, attempted to revive Aaron until paramedics arrived but he was pronounced dead in hospital just an hour and a half later.
Ghana-born Aaron, a star striker with his local side Newton Heath Junior Football Club, in Manchester, had undertaken a two-week trial with City in February and had another trial set up with Burnley Football Club. The Blues fan, who idolised striker Sergio Aguero and had a pair of football boots signed by the player, was said to be ‘sports-mad’ and ‘adventurous’ and would regularly play with Joshua and older brothers Edward, 15, and Dave, 13.
Despite his young age, he had been tipped for a professional career by his coach at Newton Heath JFC and following his death a plaque was unveiled at the club in his memory. The popular youngster, who dreamed of playing for Manchester City but also had a love of singing, was due to start Year 7 at high school in September.
An inquest heard the incident occurred on August 19 during the school holidays after he and Joshua had been playing on a trampoline at the family home in Monsall, Salford, Greater Manchester. The boys were called back in by Geraldine to clean up their breakfast bowls before two of Aaron’s friends knocked at the door to ask if he was coming out later. He then went upstairs to get changed from his pyjamas.
The Manchester hearing was told Aaron then began constructing the hammock from a blanket before tying it between their separate bunk beds. But when Aaron climbed on to the sheet it came loose and he fell head-first, becoming entangled in the blanket, and landed motionless on the floor. Mrs Asiedu told the inquest how at around 2.30pm she heard Joshua screaming, ‘get up Aaron. What’s happening?’.
She added: “The way he said, ‘what’s happening?’ I rushed upstairs with my daughter Hillary and Joshua was sitting next to him and said Aaron wouldn’t move. “I just wanted him to get up but he wouldn’t move. “Hillary rang the ambulance and they told us to do CPR. I don’t know what they were doing when they were playing. I later found out they made a hammock out of the blanket.
“They used to do all sorts of things together. They were just boys who loved playing.” Forensic pathologist Charles Wilson said: “On the afternoon of August 19, Aaron was playing with his younger brother and tied a blanket between two bunk beds on either side of the room and Aaron was climbing on the blanket.
“It came loose and he fell head first. His brother noticed he was not moving and thought he was playing but realised he was not breathing so called for their mother. Their sister called an ambulance and attempted CPR until the ambulance arrived.” The inquest heard Aaron never regained consciousness and he was pronounced dead in North Manchester General Hospital at 3.54pm.
The post-mortem examination showed no evidence of any injury, with Mr Wilson giving a cause of death as asphyxia. Recording a conclusion of misadventure, coroner Fiona Borrill said: “He was a young man, about to start Year 7, and they had got up late. “They were adventurous boys and had been playing outside on the trampoline. “He had fallen from a blanket tied between two bunk beds and asphyxiated. They were playing and it unexpectedly took the turn it has done and led to his death.”
Addressing Mrs Asiedu, she said: “Can I offer you my sincere condolences on your tragic loss which must have had an appalling effect on you and your other children.” After the hearing, Mrs Asiedu said her husband Edward, a salesman, moved to the UK originally from Accra in Ghana and the family followed in 2007. Paying tribute to her son, she said: “He was a very talented boy.
“Whatever it was – any sport or singing club or music club. “But he really wanted to be a footballer when he was older. His prized possession were his boots signed by Aguero. “He used to go and get their autographs too and show them off to the family. He was very ambitious. “As a family we are trying to come to terms with what happened. His brother Joshua was very upset and he has somebody to help him now.”
Mr Asiedu added: “His life was so short. It’s so difficult for me to understand why his life was so short. I still don’t find it easy and don’t think I ever will but there’s nothing we can do now.” At the time of his death, his manager at Newton Heath Ian Laidler said: “He’d never been in a team before but we won everything last year and he was a big part of that.
“I used to say to him ‘you need to pass the ball’ – then he’d just go round five kids and score a goal.”