Many football fans paid tribute to Darlington schoolgirl, Leah Harrison, 10, and celebrated her life today (May 31).

Fans came together at the game between the Lionesses and France at St James’ Park to honour Leah’s memory in the 10th minute of the match.

Leah, a year six pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School, who was described as a “budding lioness”, tragically lost her life while on a school trip following a "freak" mudslide on a popular walking route near Carlton Bank, North Yorkshire on May 22.

Those close to the family lobbied the FA following the incident to pay tribute to Leah.

The Northern Echo: Credit: SCOTT WILSON

Supporters could be seen applauding at the ten-minute mark, while one attendee noted that Lioness Lauren Hemp also took part during the game.

A statement from the FA ahead of the game read: “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.

The Northern Echo: Tribute to Leah Harrison at St James' Park Credit: PA

"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.

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

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.

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