Brother of ex-Wythenshawe Town FC player Ross Aikenhead pays heartbreaking tribute to ‘terrific young footballer’

A truly tearjerking read.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 5th April 2024

The brother of former Wythenshawe Town FC player Ross Aikenhead has shared a gutwrenching tribute to his younger sibling who tragically died last week.

Aikenhead, from Sale in Trafford, was found unresponsive on Saturday, 30 March morning and paramedics said he had suffered a seizure before he passed away overnight. Ross had suffered from epilepsy for the past decade. He was just 24 years old.

Described as a “terrific footballer” and a “beautiful boy with an infectious smile” by his dad John, fellow non-league clubs and loved ones, countless football fans and Greater Mancunians have been paying their respects on social media.

None more heartbreaking, though, than the lengthy statement written by his older brother Luke, who paid a truly touching tribute to the carefree soul.

Starting off by stating that the emotions are “like nothing I have ever experienced before”, he said his thoughts have already turned to how difficult birthdays and holidays are going to be, recognising that “life will never again be normal”.


Going on to admit that he is unsure of how he and his family will deal with the loss, he said, “This is ok. In a way, I wouldn’t want it any other way. As deep as the pain is, it makes sense. It shows me what Ross means to me and the love I have for him, and this provides much more solace”.

Continuing to write in an unbelievably eloquent manner given how raw Ross’ death still is, Aikenhead went on to reference heartwarming anecdotes that paint a perfectly human and everyday existence, joking that on his final night, he was “excited to go home and eat an Easter egg”, adding that “he left the world blissfully unaware and that is befitting”.


He summed up his younger brother by saying that while he will “never know of the goals he will score, the nephews and nieces he will miss” and the holidays he’ll never go on, he never sweated the small stuff in life and, as his dad reassured him, he’ll go on to “be more Ross” – i.e. losing stuff, being late and putting ketchup on his Sunday dinner.

His most recent club, Winsford United over in Cheshire, said the ‘fantastic young man will be sorely missed’.

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Luke signs off by confessing: “In true brotherly fashion, it was rare I told Ross I loved him, but he knew and that’s enough for me… To have three brothers with three separate friendship groups that have all come together to form one big, weird, daft group is a rare and beautiful thing”.

We won’t recite his admirably vulnerable letter but sincerely urge you to read it in full; it’s a very emotional read but serves as a great reminder to treasure those close to you every second you get.


Ross Aikenhead was also a cousin of local boxer Pat Brown, who recently qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics, with the fellow Sale native sharing Winsford FC’s tribute on his Instagram story.

Rest in peace to a lovely young man who seems to have overwhelmingly left a positive and lasting impression on everyone he met.

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Featured Images — Wythenshawe FC/Winsford United (via X)