MOURNERS have paid their respects at the funeral of a 17-year-old Thai cave rescue survivor.
Duangphet ‘Dom’ Phromthep tragically died after being discovered unconscious at his school in Leicestershire[/caption]
His mother, other family members and friends paid tribute to him in a football shrine[/caption]
Monks recited prayers as a community mourned the talented youngster[/caption]
Monks sitting in a row chanted prayers for the talented youngster at Wat Phra That Doi Wao, a temple less than 6.2 miles from the Tham Luang cave.
The shrine for Dom was decorated with 17 footballs, each representing his age.
Tham Luang cave is where Dom, his teammates and his coach were trapped for more than two weeks before they were guided out by a team of expert divers.
His heartbroken mother Thanaporn Phromthep, said: “He got to play football. He wanted to go abroad and he got that.
“Thank you for the opportunities that allowed him to live out his dreams.
“Dom was an easy-going kid. He lived simply, ate simply. He didn’t take himself too seriously and was a happy going person. He passed away peacefully.”
His body was cremated earlier this week in the UK.
Today, his ashes arrived in the far northern province of Chiang Rai, where funeral rites will be held over the next few days.
At Chiang Rai airport, his grandparents burst into tears when they were handed a small box containing the ashes.
While his former coach Ekapol Chanthawong held a large portrait of the talented lad in his honour.
Duangphet was the captain of the Wild Boars when they became trapped along with their coach after venturing into the Tham Luang caves in June 2018.
Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost ten days.
The world was gripped as a team of 90 expert divers – 40 from Thailand and 50 from overseas – battled to get them out safely in a three-day rescue mission.
Duangpetch had posted on social media last Autumn revealing his “dream” to study football in the UK had come true.
He shared photos of his time in Britain as he thanked the academy and Chico foundation for his scholarship.
After the heartbreaking news of his death was revealed last week, tributes flooded in for the youngster.
Duangphet’s head coach, Nopparat Khanthavong said: “He had a passion for playing football and was very focused and determined.
“He was a natural leader. He was focused in training and was an example to his friends and the younger boys.
“He went on tryouts and received a scholarship to study in England, which was the last place he got to go.
“It was a dream of his to play football overseas.”
Prachak Sutham, one of the boys rescued in 2018, wrote: “The 13 of us have been through a lot of things together, sadness, happiness, risk of death and many difficulties together.
“You told me to wait and see when you join the national team. I always believed that you can do it.
“When we met last time before going to England, I still told you jokingly that I have to ask for your signature when I come back.
“Rest in peace, my friend. We will always be 13 of us.”
His mum and other family members paid tribute to him[/caption]
Former coach Ekkapol Chanthawong, right, holds a portrait of Duangphet[/caption]