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LETTER: Father pays tribute to Kiyan Singh

The father of the 8-year-old Durban boy who was killed when a goalpost fell on him during a soccer match in Durban North says his son's death is unbearable. 

The late Kiyan Singh, and father, Sahil
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Eight-year-old Kiyan Singh died on Friday night at the Riverside Sports Club in Durban North. 

Singh had been watching his brother play in a soccer match between Riverside and Juventus football clubs’ junior teams when tragedy struck. 

NOW READ: Durban boy killed in goalpost accident was 'driven, good-natured'

Listen to Newswatch reporter, Nushera Soodyal's report here.

Read the statement from Sahil Singh below. 

Thank you all for your love, empathy & support over the last few days with our incredibly unbearable loss. We are very fortunate & grateful to have such wonderful people in our lives. I’m unable to respond to every message so I hope that you take the time to read this and understand that we are grateful to each and every one of you. 

If you knew my beautiful baby boy he would have touched your heart in some way. That was his gentle sweet nature. He was the kindest and most thoughtful little angel who opened doors for his mum and Aji, who would prefer to stay at home with mum than leave her alone, and would be incredibly grateful for the small things - the really little things. He was not spoiled by this cruel and cynical world. He was kind and gentle even when people were mean to him. 

He had the most curious little mind and when he set his mind to something, nothing could stand in his way. He taught himself to ride his bike - I took off his training wheels and turned to help Aran, and when I looked back he was riding on his own. He also potty trained himself - he went from nappies straight to underpants and never, ever soiled his underpants. He just simply decided he wanted to ‘be a big boy’. He also went from breast milk to solids and never once used a bottle. This was a pattern with Kiyan to leap ahead in giant strides with whatever he set his mind to. 

He would send Tess Singh & I bizarre shopping lists - one day he asked for clear silicone, corn flour & food colouring - so he could make little silicone LEGO figures in moulds!! 

He was a budding artist and could draw incredibly well for a little 8 year old with detail, contrast and intelligent shading. 

He was reading at a 12 year old level far ahead of most of his peers. When he started grade 1 he came home crying one day, and we asked why - it was because his teacher hadn’t realized yet how well he could read and didn’t let him get books from the ‘big boy side’ of the library. He also pretty much taught himself to read as well because he was so eager to learn more.

From the time he was a baby, he had an incredibly gifted ear. He would sit at the piano when he could barely reach the keyboard, and plonk away - when he was about 2 we realized he was playing the Thomas the Train song. By 5 or 6 he started lessons and was reading music with an ease that I don’t have after a few decades of trying. Together we worked on some pieces by Bach, Beethoven and one of Tchaikovsky’s children’s pieces. The first little piece he played with both hands was a simplified arrangement of Grieg’s ‘In the hall of the Mountain King’ from the Peer Gynt Suite when he was 6. He absorbed it all easily, readily and without any sign of it being other than in his stride. In the weeks before he passed he was working on the national anthem by ear, but not like a regular kid - he had the melody down pat with his right hand, but was working on the accompanying left hand - not simply with one finger, but with different chords some of which sounded quite complicated for his little hands, and with a jazzy beat that could only have come from his head. This was his passion project and was not part of what he was learning with his piano teacher. 

He would become completely obsessed and immersed with things. This started with Thomas the Tank engine - he was never without his trains and would recite things from Thomas before he could even speak properly. He used to get frustrated and say ‘fish and delay eye yah howwid!!’ and after a while we realized he was repeating the Fat Master’s favourite line to reprimand the Tank engines ‘(you are causing) “confusion and delay, you are horrid!!!”’ He had some difficulty with pronouncing ‘r’ and would say ‘w’ phonetically instead and after several speech therapy sessions, his therapist said to him that she didn’t think he needed any more lessons, to which he replied ‘maybe one more for the complicated words’ 

He had a keen sense of fashion (not from me obviously) and wanted to look great for each occasion. How he knew what went with what escapes me, but he would wear unusual things like bow ties, braces and beret caps and make them look awfully stylish! 

Learning from his big brother he became obsessed with soccer in the last few years. Being Beanie, he would find something that suited him and wouldn’t follow the herd - he wanted to be a Goalie. He would practice in his goals every day with his brother. He had several goalie kits and his wishlist when I was in the UK was for the Manchester United kids goalie set. It was exactly what I was looking for when I received the call that there was an accident and had to immediately make arrangements to return home. 

My baby soccer player passed away in his goals in the end doing what he absolutely loved the most. It was a cruel and merciless ending for his beautiful life. He will never be forgotten by anyone who knew him. Of this I’m certain.

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