Updated: May 17
TOWNSFOLK are being invited to pay tribute to an aspiring young athlete from the Staffordshire Moorlands who has died at the age of 15. Oakley Wright, from Cheadle, passed away on April 30, following a serious illness. It is believed was battling a brain tumour. Staff and students at The Cheadle Academy, where Oakley was a Year 11 student, are among the many mourning the death of a popular youngster who had a passion for athletics. He was a progressing member of Cheadle Running Club and has also represented Staffordshire Moorlands AC. . Oakley was following in the footsteps of his parents, Jenny and Mark Dalkins, both successful members Cheadle Running Club. Cheadle Academy principal Neil Jamieson said: "Oakley was a hugely popular student, adored and admired by his many friends, family members, sports associates, neighbours, teachers and everyone who had the fortune to come across him. "His smile brought out the best in many. He was a caring student and we will miss him greatly." Oakley's friends are honouring his memory by raising funds to support his family and aproaching £6,000 has already pledged for the 'Run for Oakley' GoFundMe appeal, which has been set up on the web by Courtney Austin on behalf of Chris Gerrard. A heart-broken Courtney described Oakley as "one of the most loving, caring people around." The Cheadle Academy is planning a celebration of Oakley's life after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted. Oakley's funeral will take place at Cheadle Cemetery next Monday, May 18, at 12 noon, There will be a "farewell journey" for Oakley from the family home in Cheadle, and people are invited to pay their respects along the route. Unfortunately, lockdown restrictions will not permit a large gathering at the town cemetery. The family have requested people not to wear mourning clothes but casual or smart wear which will reflect Oakley's happy personality. Oakley's mum Jenny said: "If people can support on route to save any crowding this would be amazing. The funeral cortege will leave Ashbourne Road at 11.45am and move on to Thorley Drive, Tean Road, Station Road, Cheadle Academy Bus Park, The Birches, Lid Lane, Town End, and Park Drive to the cemetery entrance. Jenny added: "Myself and Mark wish to thank everyone for their kind messages of love and support at this very difficult time."
Pictured: Keen athlete Oakley Wright. Photo: Mick Hall.