A GIRLS’ football club is in ‘a state of shock’ after a teenage opposition player collapsed and died while playing a game on Sunday.

Euxton Girls FC have led the tributes to 15-year-old Melissa Smith after she died during a match with Euxton U16s at their Greenside pitch.

The under-16 girls were playing Melissa’s team, Cadley FC, from Preston, when the teenager collapsed to the ground without warning just before half-time.

The club recently spent £1,000 on a defibrillator, which was used on Melissa before the ambulance arrived.

The Penwortham Girls High School pupil was taken by ambulance to Royal Preston Hosptal, where she was pronounced dead.

Euxton Girls’ chairman Dennis Winn said: “We’re absolutely devastated and our deepest sympathies go out to Cadley FC and the family of Melissa.

“We only bought the defibrillator this year and never expected to have to need it but it was all in vain.”

The game was immediately abandoned as were the other games due to take place.

Euxton U16s coach Mick Walsh said everyone was in a state in shock.

“It happened just before half-time,” he said.

“There was nobody around the girl at the time but she suddenly fell to the ground between the halfway line and the penalty box.

“We got the defibrillator and tried CPR while the ambulance was called.

“There were a lot of parents watching and we realised immediately how seriously it was.The ambulance was there in less than five minutes but it seemed like a lifetime.

“We all hoped and prayed that she’d make a full recovery but it was to no avail.

“We kept all our players together after the game because they were in a state of shock. We’re going to arrange a meeting this week for them and the parents.”

Euxton U16s have already postponed next week’s game as a mark of respect.