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Former Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba sent a letter of condolence after a Belvedere teenager died of a cardiac arrest, stating he “knows how precious and fragile life can be”.

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Philip Lamin, 16, was playing football at Goals Soccer Centre in Graham Road next to his school, Bexleyheath Academy, on February 5 when the tragedy happened.

Bolton Wanderers star Muamba famously suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur last March and survived despite his heart stopping for 78 minutes.

Muamba sent the letter to Bexleyheath Academy where Principal Carl Wakefield read it out during assembly yesterday.

It says: “I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend.

“Words aren’t enough to describe the pain and loss you must be going through. My thoughts and prayers are with Philip’s family and friends.

“After all that happened to me in the last year I know more than anyone how precious and fragile life can be.”

Philip’s friends have raised £3,000 through cake sales and collections to help pay for his funeral and support heart charities and head of Year 11 Tracey Boswell says she is amazed at how well they have coped in the aftermath of the tragedy.

She said: “I’ve never dealt with anything like this in my teaching career before and the way our students and staff have shown unity fills me with pride.”

The talented footballer, who lived with his mum in Gordon Road, was believed to have been set for a trial with Fulham Football Club this summer once he finished his GCSEs.

His best friend Miljan Scekic added: “It’s been an incredibly difficult time but the fundraising for Philip’s funeral has helped us deal with it.

“To see a smile on his mum Juliet’s face was priceless. She’s been so strong which has made us stronger. Hopefully we can cover most of the funeral costs with the money we’ve received.

“We’ve tried to make the best of a bad situation. There will be a lot of mourning at the funeral but we’ll use it as a chance to celebrate his life too. Hopefully there will be a few laughs and smiles.”

See the gallery of pictures at the top right of this story.

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