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A “BUBBLY” 11-year-old schoolboy has died after he was found near a playing field, with his mum paying a touching tribute to her “little monkey”.

Dylan Afandi was discovered on a mountain path near Brynithel rugby pitch in Brynithel, Blaenau, Gwent, on May 11 last year at around 6.15pm.

3Dylan's mum Sarah Morris described her son as a bright, cheerful boyCredit: Media Wales

He was rushed to University Hospital Wales but he died 18 days later on May 29, an inquest at Newport Civic Centre has heard.

A coroner concluded his death was by misadventure but added she "just cannot be sure that Dylan intended to take his own life".

People that knew the boy from Pen-twyn, who gave evidence, described Dylan as a “happy, bubbly, and bright boy” who said he showed no signs he was troubled or had any intention to take his own life.

A local man who gave a witness statement said his son had been out walking their dog when he discovered what he thought was the body of a man.

After being alerted by his son the witness and a neighbour ran to the scene and started administering CPR on the lad before calling an ambulance at just after 6.30pm.

Emergency responders arrived five minutes later and gave the boy CPR before rushing him to hospital.

The boy was unresponsive when he arrived at the hospital where doctors carried out CT and MRI scans which indicated he had suffered a severe brain injury due to oxygen deprivation to the brain.

3Dylan was found lying on a path near a rugby pitch in Wales in May last yearCredit: Media Wales

Dylan was in hospital for more than two weeks before his family made the decision to reorient his treatment to palliative care.

He was extubated on May 29 and died at 5.40pm the same day.

The medical cause of death was given as 1a. hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and 1b. hanging.

Dylan’s mum Sarah Morris described her son as “a bubbly, cheeky little monkey”.

She said: “Mammy’s brightest, happiest, funny little boy – you have left a massive hole in all our hearts.

"We all miss you dearly and God has gained you way too early. You had your whole life ahead of you and we will forever be heartbroken. Until we meet again – lots of love, Mammy and family.”

Katie Ralph, who married Dylan’s dad in 2014 and has had four children with him, said Dylan was “his normal happy self” on May 11 and in the days leading up to his death.

Ralph and Dylan went shopping at Asda later that day but he stole some pens and chocolate biscuits from the supermarket, which she said was out of character for him.

In the evening Dylan asked for permission to go for a walk, which he often did during lockdown.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society - from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others... You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,
  • Mind,, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,, 116 123

Normally he was gone for around an hour but his parents became concerned when he had not returned after about 90 minutes.

They later received a phone call saying a boy had been found on a path near the rugby pitch.

 “He was a very happy boy,” Ms Ralph said. ”He was helpful around the house and playing with his younger siblings. He was great with them, especially the baby."

3A coroner in Newport recorded a verdict of death by misadventureCredit: Media Wales

The inquest heard that Dylan had suffered some incidents of bullying at primary school and one at high school when he was deliberately tripped over.

While Ralph said he had become less open after starting high school but added he was generally a happy and bright student, Wales Online reports.

Recording a conclusion of misadventure coroner Sarah Le Fevre said: “This is perhaps one of the saddest cases that I’ve ever dealt with as a coroner.

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“Dylan was described universally as a happy, bubbly, playful boy who wanted to help and make people laugh.

“I extend my sincerest condolences to all of the family who are here today and those who are not here.

“I just cannot be sure that Dylan intended to take his own life and that being the case I can’t record a conclusion of suicide. It seems to me that misadventure is the appropriate conclusion.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.

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Tags: you’re not alone ’re not alone mum sarah you’re not a conclusion tribute playing field mental health had suffered after being high school media wales

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New York Giants: What will Sterling Shepards role in the offense be in 2021?

New York Giants: What will Sterling Shepard’s role in the offense be in 2021?

  • Anthony Rivardo
  • June 22, 2021
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The New York Giants‘ offense has undergone significant changes this offseason. The Giants acquired a bunch of talented playmakers to inject into what was a lifeless offense. In 2020, the Giants averaged a putrid 17.5 points per game, second-to-last in the NFL. The only offensive unit worse than the Giants was the Jets.

That should change this year, though, as the Giants made some offensive big splashes in free agency in the draft. New York landed free agency’s top wide receiver on the market this year in Kenny Golladay. They also added one of the most reliable tight ends in the NFL in Kyle Rudolph. They then doubled down by selecting explosive slot receiver Kadarius Toney in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Giants’ offensive weaponry has been overhauled with new, high-quality playmakers. But this influx of talent might give Daniel Jones too many mouths to feed, leaving the playmakers that were already on the roster hungry. Some players, like Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, are expected to have their roles change significantly next season.

Giants fans are excited by the addition of Kadarius Toney. However, with Golladay entering the lineup as the team’s new X-receiver, and Toney on board as a new slot receiver, where does Sterling Shepard fall into place?

Where Sterling Shepard might fall into placeSterling Shepard has been playing outside for two years now

Many fans typically think of Sterling Shepard as a slot receiver. However, since 2019, Shepard has played as an outside receiver. In 2019, Shep played 331 snaps out wide and 256 inside. The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. and the gain of Golden Tate forced Shepard to kick out wide that season after playing from the slot in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He started the season in the slot while Tate missed the first four games due to suspension, but once Golden Tate returned Shepard moved outside for the rest of the year.

Sterling continued playing predominantly outside in 2020. 356 of his offensive snaps came out wide with only 190 in the slot this past season. Shepard was typically playing the Z-receiver role in 2020 with Darius Slayton lining up as the team’s X-receiver. Slayton has a bit more size, physicality, and vertical prowess, making him a better fit on the line of scrimmage. Shepard’s excellent route running and experience in the slot made him a good fit for the outside Z-receiver position.

But frankly, Darius Slayton’s production at X-receiver was not good enough last year, which is why the Giants made it a point to go out and sign Kenny Golladay. Will this cause Slayton to move across the field to the Z-position If so, what happens to Sterling Shepard? Does he move back into the slot? Or is that position going to be earned by rookie Kadarius Toney?

Should Shep play inside or outside?

Sterling Shepard has been playing primarily outside for the past two years, but the seasons where Shepard played in the slot have been the best of his career. From 2016-2018 (slot), Shepard averaged 63.3 receptions, 762 yards, and 4.7 touchdowns per year. From 2019-2020 (outside), Sterling averaged 61.5 receptions, 616 yards, and 3 touchdowns per year.

Part of the reason why Shepard’s career-best seasons were in the slot is that he was playing alongside Odell Beckham. The Giants had a dominant WR1 in Beckham, something they’ve been missing since 2019. Now, with the arrival of Kenny Golladay, New York has its WR1 again. This should allow Sterling Shepard to thrive, returning to playing a complementary receiving role as he did with Odell.

Ultimately, Sterling Shepard should see snaps rotating inside and outside this season. He has the ability to play the Z-receiver or slot receiver roles with great efficiency. Darius Slayton should see a fair amount of snaps on the field, though his total is likely to decrease from last season. But the Giants also need to work Kadarius Toney into the lineup. This could open things up for the Giants to run a lot more four-receiver sets on offense. But it could also open things up for Sterling Shepard to play a more versatile role in the offense.

One of the reasons Sterling Shepard has had such a successful career is his versatility. He can play inside, outside, and do both at a high level. When the Giants want Darius Slayton on the field, Sterling Shepard should play in the slot. When the team wants Kadarius Toney on the field, Sterling Shepard should replace Slayton out wide. Sterling Shepard is the second-best receiver on the New York Giants’ roster right now, so the team needs to keep him on the field as much as possible.

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