Football players from the England Women’s team have paid tribute to a football superfan and teacher who collapsed and died while running in the rain.
Varndean College drama teacher Sam Paterson-Sleep suffered a sudden and unexpected brain aneurysm while running in Southwick.
Her family have thanked those who rushed to the 38-year-old’s aid. Members of the England women’s football squad, paid tribute to Miss Paterson-Sleep, who was a huge supporter of woman’s football and in 2011 was named “fan of the year” by The FA.
Yesterday, her family and former partner Lisa Paterson-Sleep told how members of the public battled to resuscitate her after she collapsed in the street. They also asked The Argus to thank the people who tried to save her.
Shortly before her death Miss Paterson- Sleep, from Shoreham, had become marketing officer for Brighton and Hove Albion’s ladies team.
England international midfielder Jill Scott described Miss Paterson-Sleep as “a lovely person with a real passion for the women’s game”.
Former England and Arsenal captain Faye White added on Twitter: “So sorry to hear news about Sam Paterson-Sleep. “Thoughts to her family. One of our best and most dedicated fans.”
Goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain also said: “So sad to hear that a huge supporter of women’s football has passed away. RIP Sam Paterson-Sleep.”
Kelly Simmons, FA director of the national game and women’s football, said: “So stunned by the terrible news that women’s football has lost one of its biggest fans. RIP Sam Paterson-Sleep. Thinking of Lisa and family.”
James Hilsum, a spokesman for BHAFC ladies team, described her as a “lovely kind-hearted person”.
A celebration of Miss Paterson-Sleep’s life will be held at Woodvale Crematorium, (South Chapel), Lewes Road, Brighton on Monday at 11.30am.
Flowers or donations for LostCatsBrighton may be sent to Christopher Stringer Funeral Service, 67 High Street, Rottingdean, BN2 7HE.