Hartlepool Student Dies At Festival

28 August 2013, 16:56 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A popular teenage guitarist from Hartlepool who was about to go to university has died after collapsing at the Leeds Festival.

19 year old James Houghton travelled to the event with friends.

Police are investigating the "unexplained death'', which is not being treated as suspicious.

A spokeswoman said:
"West Yorkshire Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the unexplained death of a 19-year-old man at the Leeds Festival.

Police officers working at the festival were called to the on-site medical facilities at 11.22pm on Sunday August 25th, following his collapse elsewhere on site.

He was pronounced dead at the festival site. Police are not treating the death as suspicious at this time.

Members of his family have been notified of his death.''

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said local officers informed his family of the death.

His mother Paula is a deputy head of year at Manor College of Technology, where her son was a pupil.

He was due to take a place at Manchester University.

The teenager was a keen guitarist who was involved with the Red Dreams charity which nurtures young talent.

It was founded by Dawn McManus after the death of her son Kyle, aged 16, from a brain haemorrhage in 2007.

She said:
"A lot of young people who were James's friend were also our son's friend.

They have lost two close friends in a number of years and that should never happen, should it?

James was very sociable, very funny, a very good guitarist and was in a band here for a number of years.

He was so lovely and his family are as well.

Music is the biggest part of a lot of these young people's lives and to go to festivals like that is sometimes their dream.

Everyone is in a state of shock. All we can do is support his friends.''

Anne Malcolm, headteacher at Manor College, said the school extended its support to his mother, father Pete and sister Jenny.

She was out of the country and unavailable for comment but told the Hartlepool Mail that the popular, intelligent teenager was one of the highest-performing pupils when he left in 2010.

She told the paper: "James was a bright light who will be greatly missed.''