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WDBJ7: Roanoke Valley soccer club remembers teammate

Roanoke Valley soccer club remembers teammate killed in house fire

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Shayne Dwyer[email protected]
POSTED: 07:45 PM EDT Apr 05, 2016 

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ROANOKE CO., Va. - 

A Roanoke Valley soccer club is remembering the teammate it lost in a tragic house fire last month. A fire at the Roanoke County home of the McKinnon family killed two young boys and badly injured family friends last month.

The McKinnon's older son Patrick played on the U-11 Xpress travel soccer tream. At just 10-years-old, Patrick had found a passion in sports. He loved both Lacrosse and Soccer, and was a valued teammate.

"Patrick did have skills and he was a very good player, he had trained with us until it was time to be on a travel team and he did very well" Valley AFC Director Of Soccer Dave Stuart said. "He definitely showed a love for this game especially coming into his first year of travel, he very much enjoyed the social aspect of it as well as having teammates, playing together and playing for each other."

The investigators' preliminary report is that the fire at the McKinnon's house was accidental, although a few more interviews need to be completed before the fire marshal will be able to determine exactly what caused the fire.

Stuart said the loss of Patrick and his younger brother Logan, who played in a different soccer league, is a blow to the entire soccer family. He stressed the community support has been the main reason the other kids on the team and their family's have been able to make it.

"Initially it was obviously just devastation, it just felt felt like someone had been taken from us, from our community, and from our family," Stuart said. "Since then as people start to recover through the process it's been support."

At this young age a game should be the biggest tragedy you face, but Patricks' team has found a way to band together with support from within themselves.

"They are wearing black socks instead of the white or green that they would normally wear in memory of him," Stuart said. "And they've also had the number eight printed just above the Under Armour logo which is his number."

Valley AFC is working on building a brand new multi-million dollar complex and the club leaders are discussing the idea of naming at the complex after the McKinnons. Stuart said the other field names will be made available to local businesses and supporters through sponsorships.

The entire process has been something to learn from, and a challenging one to deal with for the entire club. But club leaders hope it will leave a lasting impression on everyone, further promoting the fact that community is important.

"It shows them that there's love and support out there outside of the playing field, outside of going out for pizza after the game, outside of winning or losing," Stuart said.

The club hopes to keep the McKinnons involved in its future plans but is taking things one step at a time. Above all they want the Mckinnons to know they will always have a home with Valley AFC.

Stuart said the club is discussing a possible college scholarship, or a community fun to send some players to a soccer camp or to a professional game somewhere. The club just wants to do anything it can to remember the family and the members of the soccer brotherhood they've lost.

Valley AFC Mourns a Family Loss

Dear Valley AFC Family,

It is with deep regret that we inform you of a tragic loss to our Soccer Family, Patrick McKinnon who played on our U11 Green Team died in a house fire with his younger brother Logan early Saturday morning.  Words can not express the sadness of this terrible event, our prayers and condolences are with his parents recovering from injuries sustained in the fire at a North Carolina Hospital.  

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Valley AFC will look to honor Patrick and his family at an appropriate time in the future.  

Godspeed Patrick and Logan