‘He was a natural leader’: Mourners gather for funeral of Thai cave survivor who died aged 17 after being found in his dormitory in Britain while on a football academy scholarship
- His shrine was decorated with 17 footballs to represent each year of his life
- The 17-year-old was found unconscious in his room on February 12
Family and friends are gathering to commemorate the life of one of the boys who was rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018 and died last month.
Duangphet ‘Dom’ Phromthep was remembered as a natural leader with a promising life, while his shrine was decorated with 17 footballs – each to represent a year of his life.
On Saturday, monks lined up and chanted prayers for Duangohet at Wat Phra That Doi Wao.
The little boy’s mother, Thanaporn Phromthep, said, “He has to play football. He wanted to go abroad and he got it. Thank you for the opportunities that enabled him to fulfill his dreams.
‘Dom was an easy boy. He lived simply, ate simply. He didn’t take himself too seriously and was a cheerful person. He passed away peacefully.’
Family and friends gather to commemorate Duangphet ‘Dom’ Phromthep’s life after he died in UK last month
The 17-year-old was one of the boys rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018
Duangphet was found unconscious in his room at Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicestershire on 12 February, where he was on a scholarship, and died in hospital two days later.
His body was cremated in the UK earlier this week. His ashes arrived on Saturday in the northern province of Chiang Rai, where funeral rites will take place in the coming days.
At Chiang Rai airport, his grandparents burst into tears when they were handed a box containing the ashes.
His former coach Ekapol Chanthawong, who was trapped in the cave with him, held a large portrait of his former student.
Duangphet’s head coach, Nopparat Khanthavong said, ‘He had a passion for playing football and was very focused and determined.
His shrine was decorated with 17 footballs – each to represent a year of his life
On Saturday, his friends and family, including his mother, Thanaporn Phromthep, gathered at Wat Phra That Doi Wao
The temple is less than 10 km away from ham luang cave where he and his 11 soccer teammates and their coach were imprisoned
A row of monks sat in a row and chanted prayers for Duangohet
“He was a natural leader. He was focused on training and was an example to his friends and the younger boys.
‘He went on a probationary period and got a scholarship to study in England, the last place he was allowed to go.
“It was his dream to play football abroad.”
The temple is just under 10 km from Ham Luang Cave, where he and his 11 soccer teammates and their coach were trapped for more than two weeks before being led out by a team of expert divers in a rescue that drew global attention.
He and his 11 soccer teammates and their coach were detained for more than two weeks
His former coach Ekapol Chanthawong, who was trapped in the cave with him, held a large portrait of his former student
They were accompanied by a team of expert divers in a rescue effort that attracted worldwide attention