Shocked teacher speaks of sadness after student dies

Kieran Keel during his time at Portsmouth Grammar School
Kieran Keel during his time at Portsmouth Grammar School

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POIGNANT tributes have been paid to a high-achieving student who tragically died.

Kieran Keel, described as ‘wonderfully gifted’ by his former headmaster at Portsmouth Grammar School, died on February 21 in Oxford.

The 20-year-old, of Wickor Way, Emsworth, was in his second year of a Spanish and history degree at Brasenose College.

The exact circumstances of his death are still being investigated, but an inquest has been opened in Oxford and outlined that he was found outside his student accommodation.

It is not being treated as suspicious by police.

James Priory, headmaster of PGS, said Kieran died in a ‘tragic accident’.

His statement added: ‘Kieran was a wonderfully gifted and scholarly young man who contributed with zest to the wider life of the school.

‘He joined PGS in Year 4 and was awarded a Foundation Scholarship on entry to the Senior School in Year 7.

‘In the Sixth Form, he was proud to have earned a place as an opening bowler in the 1st XI cricket team; he debated with panache in the model United Nations, found time to write for the school magazine, The Portmuthian, and was elected by his peers to become a school prefect.

‘Kieran spent 10 very happy years at Portsmouth Grammar School, establishing many close friendships. We are all therefore deeply saddened by the news of his untimely loss.’

Kieran played American Football and played for Oxford University Lancers American Football Club, where he was social secretary.

A tweet was posted by the club saying: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP Diva, the Lancers will remember you.’

Before going to university, Kieran spent time volunteering in Peru and in an online blog he described it as ‘possibly the most amazing place in the world’.

His funeral service will be held at 11.30am on Thursday, March 6 in the University Church of St Mary’s, Oxford and will be followed by a private committal at the crematorium attended by family and close friends.

Alan Bowman, principal of Brasenose College, said the college was ‘greatly saddened’ by the tragedy.

He added: ‘Kieran was an active and popular young man with a wide circle of friends both in Brasenose and beyond, particularly in the Lancers, the University American football team.’

Kieran’s family were too upset to speak to The News.