Huge response to tragic death of baby Ernie after family holiday

Aston Villa fans are planning to hold a minute’s applause to celebrate the short life of baby Ernie Allen-Bryan[1]. The little boy died at a Spanish airport as his family were returning from holiday. Tragically, he stopped breathing as they prepared to catch a flight and nothing could be done to save the much-loved five-month-old.

The heartbroken family, all Villa[2] fans, have asked for a minute’s applause to take place at the Blackburn Rovers game on March 30.

Fans have taken matters a step further and set up fundraising pages to raise money for them. Villa players have also become involved by offering to donate signed shirts and footballs.

Ernie Allen-Bryan

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Claire Robbins, from Walsall[3], who is raising money for the family.

“I’m a mum myself and it makes you realise how precious your children are.

“It’s something that could happen to anyone of us, you cannot put into words how you would feel.

“I’ve known Ernie’s uncle, Scott, for years through the Villa.

“When I found out what had happened, he told me about wanting to do a minute’s applause in the fifth minute so I was trying to get that sorted.

“But it’s all snowballed.

“I’m overwhelmed by the support we’ve received, it’s been amazing,”

Huge response to tragic death of baby Ernie after family holidayErnie Allen-Bryan and Tyrone Mings

Tributes to ‘always smiling’ baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holiday[4]

Claire and fellow fans have worked relentlessly this week, appealing for donations and memorabilia they can auction ahead of the Blackburn match. She sent messages to the Villa players, sharing the BirminghamLive story[5] and asking for donations.

Defender Tyrone Mings replied, saying: “That’s awful, what a heartbreaking story. Yes I’d love to help. Will arrange a shirt or ball next week if that’s ok?”

“Tyrone Mings has been great,” said Claire.

“We’ve got a signed Jack Grealish[6] top donated by his dad Kevin Grealish.

“And another man has designed a candle-holder with the Villa logo on it and donated that to us too.

Other sports stars are getting involved too.

“We’re hoping to auction them all in the Witton Arms pub before the match next Saturday.”

Huge response to tragic death of baby Ernie after family holidayClaire Robbins who is raising money for the family of baby Ernie Allen-Bryan

They have set up fundraising[7] pages on Facebook, raising more than GBP100 in just a couple of days.

“The donations will go to the family to spend in any way they choose, helping go towards funeral costs or maybe a weekend away, whatever they choose,” said Claire, who is mum to Lauren, 15, and Harry, eight.

“We just thought it was a nice idea.”

Make your donation here[8]

Huge response to tragic death of baby Ernie after family holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

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It is hoped fans will join in with a minute’s applause in memory of Ernie, from Aldridge[9], on the fifth minute of the match. The reason for the fifth minute was because he was exactly five months old.

“Lots of people know about it so we’re hoping it’s going to happen,” Claire said.

“We believe Dean Smith knows about it and has said carry on. We’ll just keeping spreading the word between now and then.

“I’ll certainly be standing up and clapping so I hope people join in with me.

I think some of Ernie’s family might be there so it will be nice for them.”

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Inspiring families

Ernie, who was described as ‘always smiling’, had gone on Discount Holidays © holiday with his mum and dad Sam and Lee and his uncle Nick and grandad John.

Sam, Lee and Ernie were due to return on Tuesday March 5 – but at the airport the unimaginable happened.

“Ernie was such a happy boy, he was always smiling,” said his uncle Nick, Sam’s brother.

“It’s senseless, we’re all pretty powerless in these circumstances, you can’t really find any answers.”

Huge response to tragic death of baby Ernie after family holidayErnie Allen-Bryan

He added: “There are really no words anyone can say, other than he was a little boy who was really developing and blooming.

“No-one knows why it happened.

“He was a very special little boy who had a long journey to be with us and a very short, yet joyous time with us.”

Ernie’s funeral is taking place at Aldridge Parish and Streetly Cemetery on Monday, March 25.

References

  1. ^ Ernie Allen-Bryan (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Villa (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Walsall (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ Tributes to ‘always smiling’ baby Ernie, who died at airport as family returned from Spanish holiday (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  5. ^ BirminghamLive story (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  6. ^ Jack Grealish (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  7. ^ fundraising (www.facebook.com)
  8. ^ here (www.facebook.com)
  9. ^ Aldridge (www.birminghammail.co.uk)

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