School remembers football-loving Kaleb with memorial

Wishing Tree for Kaleb Ablett of March

Pupils, parents and staff came together at Westwood Primary School to celebrate the life of former pupil Kaleb Ablett (inset) who died in 2019. - Credit: Clare Jerrom/GoFundMe/March Park Rangers

Pupils, parents and staff at a primary school came together to remember the life of a former pupil. 

Westwood Primary School held a memorial event on November 3 for Kaleb Ablett, who died in December 2019. 

Headteacher Gill Thomas said: “Recently I met with Kaleb’s mum Claire Wesley to discuss a fitting memorial for our Kaleb.   

“We have decided that we would like to dedicate a tree in his memory.” 

The memorial will be known as The Wishing Tree, which Mrs Thomas said “will be a place for all of our children to sit, think and reflect”. 

Wishing Tree for Kaleb Ablett

A Wishing Tree at Westwood Primary School has been dedicated to former pupil Kaleb Ablett at a memorial event. - Credit: Clare Jerrom

Year six pupils received a cobblestone to decorate with designs reflecting Kaleb’s life and events over the last two years, whilst illustrating their wishes for the future.  

A carved headstone has been placed at the foot of the tree in commemoration of Kaleb’s life. 

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Stones were decorated with designs including hand-painted footballs, angels and musical notes placed in a path laid around the tree. 

Wishing Tree for Kaleb Ablett

Pupils, parents and staff came together at Westwood Primary School to celebrate the life of former pupil Kaleb Ablett who died in 2019. - Credit: Clare Jerrom

A letterbox has also been placed close to the tree where children can post their emotions, thoughts and memories of Kaleb. 

Kaleb’s mother Claire laid the family’s stones before some of the former footballer’s closest friends posted the first letters into the postbox. 

Mrs Thomas, who said Kaleb was a “fiercely loyal” friend, added that the tree had been selected as Kaleb had enjoyed running around the tree, as well as climbing it. 

“Kaleb loved football. He would always wear a football kit to dress up days no matter what the theme was,” she said.  

“He would play football in the playground with his friends.

Kaleb Ablett in March Park Rangers kit

Pupils, parents and staff came together at Westwood Primary School to celebrate the life of former pupil Kaleb Ablett who died in 2019. - Credit: GoFundMe/March Park Rangers

 “And when he couldn’t find anyone to play football with, he would kick the football against the wall to practice his skills.  

“That is one of the memories I have of Kaleb.” 

The Wishing Tree aims to be a happy place for the children at Westwood to remember Kaleb and enjoy for many years to come, as his memory lives on at the school.  

Kaleb, who died after a short illness, was a member of March Park Rangers under 9s team.  

His number 10 football shirt that he wore for games is no longer worn by any team member in dedication to him. 

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