Schoolchildren stand up for St Annes man Louis who died suddenly aged just 24

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Blackpool sports students -and schoolchildren around the country – took a stand in memory of a St Annes man who died of a rare blood clot when he was just 24.

Father and son Stanley Greening and Louis O'NeillFather and son Stanley Greening and Louis O’Neill

Louis O’Neill died on June 3 last year after suffering deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The former Blackpool FC volunteer, who lived in Bedfordshire, worked as a barista in a coffee bar at a holiday park when lockdown started and he was put on furlough.

Like many people during lockdown, he fell into a sedentary lifestyle – which ultimately led to his tragic death, as DVT develops due to inactivity as blood pools inside the body and thickens into a clot.

His dad Stanley Greening, 57, started the Stand Up For Louis campaign last year in the hope of saving lives that might otherwise be lost to the deadly condition. Yesterday, schools across the country, from London to Blackpool to Hull, took part in classroom exercises in the very first ‘Stand Up For Louis Day’, supported by Thrombosis UK, Youth SportTrust and the Schools Active Movement.

Stanley said: “It’s a really important message, sharing the risks of blood clots from inactivity, which is what happened to Louis. There is a growing concern that more and more children are living sedentary lifestyles, sitting in classrooms all day and then going home and sitting in front of the TV or playing computer games. That’s why schools and the Sports Trust got involved, because they recognise the risks, especially during lockdown.

“Next year I’d like for hundreds of schools to get involved.

“In the back of my mind, there’s always my son, and how he lost his life and I have got to live with that. If we can save lives by raising awareness it will have a big impact, but it’s difficult because all the time in my head is Louis.

“The campaign started because I couldn’t accept what had happened. Simply from doing nothing wrong, just sitting down, playing video games and filling his time – who would have known? Had we known the symptoms, because things would have been different. Maybe we could have saved him.”

Sports students at the Blackpool FC Community Trust created a video in support of the campaign.

A spokesman for the Blackpool FC Community Trust said: “Louis was a former student with us and sadly suddenly passed away last year due to a DVT. His family set up #StandUpForLouis to help prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone else.

“Help us spread awareness of DVT in support of a former students legacy. You never know, you could save a life by sharing this information.”

Schools and clubs are invited to take part in their own ‘Stand Up For Louis’ day this month. Information about how to hold your own Stand Up event can be found online at the Stand Up For Louis charity website.