Tributes have been paid to a 17-year-old boy who died suddenly just days before fulfilling his lifelong dream to join the army.
Oliver McIvor’s had always dreamed of following in the footsteps of his father, Vincent, who served in the army for 25 years, rising to the rank of Lance Corporal.
He completed his induction and training and had been ready to join the Duke of Lancaster Regiment this week, but tragically Oliver collapsed and died last Saturday (Jan 7) in the street in Read, near Burnley, Lancs.
Police are not treating his death as suspicious.
Tragically, Oliver had received his regiment number on the day of his death.
Now his family are planning a military-themed funeral to honour his dream.
Oliver’s aunt, Jenna Hayman of Padiham, Lancs., said: “We were preparing to go for a meal on Saturday evening to celebrate Oliver’s achievement.
“He had worked so hard for this and he was on top of the world.
“He was only young but Oliver was a well known and popular person.
“I never knew him not to have a smile on his face and he never failed to make people laugh. He used to have people in tears of laughter he was that funny.
“He was the sort of person who lit up a room when he walked in. He had a lot of friends and he could fit in with anyone.”
After moving to the area three years ago with family, Jenna added: “He soon got himself involved with the village life and made so many new friends.They loved him and the community is in shock.”
The teen, who grew up in Burnley and attended Padiham Primary School and Shuttleworth College, was also known for his smart dress sense and for always looking dapper with not a hair out of place.
Oliver’s family, including his mum Tracey Barnett and his stepdad, Matt Barnett, have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of tributes for him on social media and a fund raising page set up by Jenna to help the family with funeral costs has already reached the staggering total of £3,400 and rising.
Oliver, who had five brothers and sisters, was also a huge fan of Irish MMA fighter and UFC star Conor McGregor and relatives are trying to get a message to him to give Oliver a “shout out.”
Ruth England, headteacher at Shuttleworth, paid tribute to Oliver who left the college in 2015.
She said: “Everyone is shocked and saddened by the news of Oliver’s death. Oliver was a popular student and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this devastating time.”
A spokesman for Burnley Police said: “We were called to Back Lane, Read, to a suspected collapse. Emergency services attended and a 17-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a post mortem will be carried out in due course.”
To make a contribution to the fund go to justgiving.com under Jena Hayman’ amazing story.