Football fans have been invited to come together to celebrate the life of 10-year-old Leah Harrison when the Lionesses play in the North East later this week.

The life of budding Darlington Lioness Leah Harrison will be marked by thousands at the game against France at St James' Park in Newcastle in the 10th minute of the match on Friday, where fans will "come together" to mark her memory. 

Leah, who was a year six pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School, was on a school residential trip when she died in a "freak" mudslide on a popular walking route near Carlton Bank, North Yorkshire.

The Northern Echo: Leah Harrison.Leah Harrison. (Image: NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE)

Following the tragedy, those close to the family have lobbied the FA to pay tribute to Leah who was a footballer herself - and dreamed of playing a Lioness when she grew up.

Today, (May 29), the FA has confirmed that fans are invited to come together in the 10th minute of the game on May 31 when the England women's football team - known as the Lionesses - take on France in a qualifying match for for UEFA Women’s EURO 2025.

A statement reads: "The FA, Lionesses players and staff were devastated to hear of the tragic passing of 10-year-old Leah Harrison.

"Football was a source of joy in Leah’s life and like so many young girls across the country it was her dream to play for the Lionesses.

"As the team head to the North East, Leah and her family and friends are in our collective thoughts.

"We ask fans to come together in the 10th minute of Friday’s game against France at St James’ Park in recognition of her life and in support of her family.

"To Leah, you will forever be a Lioness."

The Northern Echo: St James' Park.St James' Park.

Earlier this week, hundreds of families including Leah’s schoolfriends gathered at the playpark near Cocker Beck in Darlington at 4pm on Monday (May 27) to release balloons in her memory.

Among them were balloons reading ‘10’, a reference to Leah’s age, and footballs for the wannabe England Lioness.

There were tears and cheers as they were released following a short countdown.

Leah’s family were in attendance at the vigil to mark her short life.

The Northern Echo: Balloon release for Leah.Balloon release for Leah. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Paying tribute to her in a statement last week they said: “Leah Harrison, the happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl.

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“The beautiful smile, the giddy laugh, the silly jokes. You will never ever be forgotten baby girl.

“You will achieve your dream and become a player for the Lionesses.

“Spread those wings. May you rest in paradise.”