Family mourns death of soccer-mad Mitchel Carrasco

Mitchel Carrasco's heart sang the night Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup.And not just for the celebration of his heritage.He and his large Illawarra-based family of cousins, aunties and uncles travelled to Darling Harbour for the FIFA Fan Fest and put their hands up for a football competition.

  • TRIBUTES: Post your tributes below Their game, Team Villa vs Team Torres, consisting entirely of Carrascos, was projected on to a large TV screen and at the centre was a beaming 12-year-old child who revelled in the bond of his close-knit family."He told me afterwards, 'Mum, that was the best night of my life'," his mother Kylie said.Yesterday, Mitchel's distressed family gathered at the Carrascos' Mt Warrigal home, trying to fathom how such a vibrant young personality could be gone.Mitchel was playing for Oak Flats Football Club in the first round of a new seven-a-side competition at Kiama Leisure Centre on Thursday night when tragedy struck.Mum Kylie was cheering from the sidelines, his younger brother Lochlan and a multitude of cousins were among the 400 other children gathered at the field, and his father Luis, as always, was at the centre, guiding the team he had coached since Mitchel was a four-year-old.The team was down 2-0 and there were calls from the sideline to put Mitchel in the forwards."I said, 'Come on, Mitch, you're going to get your chance, you're going up the front' ... But in the next run, he just went down," Luis said."I went to him, he was trying to breathe. It was just ... I was screaming for people to help me. 'Please help me. Please someone help me'."Parent Zoran Joleski, who was CPR trained, ran to Mitchel's aid and an off-duty fireman ran to the leisure centre to grab a defibrillator."The first five minutes he was trying just so hard to fight ... The two gentlemen tried three times [with the defibrillator]," Luis said."They tried their absolute hearts out, but we couldn't bring him back."In a poignant moment that brought many onlookers to tears, the family, realising he was gone, lined up in the middle of the field to say farewell."All his cousins were there and each gave him a kiss goodbye. They weren't scared," Luis said.The paramedics continued the battle to revive him but it was no use. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Wollongong Hospital."The doctor explained to us that he was gone well before then, but from what, we don't know," Kylie said."Whatever it was, it was catastrophic and nothing was going to bring him back."Mitchel, a former Stella Maris student who attended Year 7 at Warilla High School, was remembered as a happy child with many friends."He always had little kids hanging around him. They just looked up to him because he was so big and jolly, I think," Kylie said."He was very popular on the soccer field. He had a lot of friends. He loved the sport. He got the job as a ballboy for Shellharbour City," Luis added.Mitchel loved to sing and from a young age surprised his family, including older sister Jess, by taking up the microphone at family events."He sang at his cousin's 18th birthday when he was about five. No-one knew he was going to do it and I could hear this kid singing and we went out and Mitchel's up on stage just belting out this song, Angels Brought Me Here, by Guy Sebastian," Kylie said."He's only just saved up to get a brand new bike. He's ridden it once, to his grandma's."Uncle Jose Carrasco added: "Mitchel was a beautiful child."He'd walk into a room, he had a presence. "There was no-one like Mitchel."

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