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Glasgow Live
Jordan Shepherd & Kathleen Speirs

Celtic fan, 14, found dead 'tried TikTok Blackout Challenge' as mum warns parents

A Cumbernauld schoolboy found dead in his bedroom had attempted a viral TikTok challenge, according to his heartbroken mum.

Glasgow Live previously reported that Leon Brown was found unresponsive on August 25. The tragic discovery was made by his mum, Lauryn Keating.

She claims she has since learned that her son tried out a TikTok trend notoriously linked to the death of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee. The Essex schoolboy reportedly tested the 'Blackout Challenge', believed to have caused him to suffer a fatal brain injury.

The 'Blackout Challenge' urges people to restrict their breathing until they fall unconscious. The low levels of oxygen in the brain can cause seizures, other serious injuries, or death.

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Lauryn Keating with her son Leon Brown. (HANDOUT)

Grieving mum Lauryn has spoken out in a bid to warn others about a terrifying online game that she claims took her son's life.

The 30-year-old told the Daily Record: "One of Leon's friends told me he had been doing the challenge on Facetime with them after seeing it on TikTok. My Leon thought he would be the one to try it first.

"Him and his friends probably thought it was a laugh and a joke. One of the kids who he was on Facetime with told me what he had done.

"She said they thought they would wake up. But Leon didn't come back around.

"It went horribly wrong. I had heard of this challenge, because of what happened to Archie Battersbee.

"But you just don't expect your own child to do it. Please warn them, these online challenges aren't worth their lives.

"They aren't worth 'likes' or whatever they are doing it for."

Leon Brown was found unresponsive on August 25. (HANDOUT)

Leon was a pupil at Our Lady's High School in the town.

Lauryn added: "He was the happiest, funniest wee boy ever. He was a bit of a class clown and he liked to make people laugh.

"Everything was always a joke and a carry-on to Leon. He was just a wee cheeky boy.

"But he meant so much to me."

Lauryn Keating said her son Leon Brown 'meant everything' to her. (HANDOUT)

It is understood Leon and his friends had seen the 'Blackout Challenge' on TikTok.

Lauryn said: "I went on TikTok and wrote out words similar to blackout challenge. The amount of video results that came up on it is ridiculous."

The tragedy of Leon's death comes just weeks after Archie Battersbee died on August 6. Archie was also found unconscious by his mother, Hollie Dance, at his home in Essex in April this year.

The young boy had suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury and was placed on life support. He passed away after his family lost a long-running legal battle to continue the treatment that was keeping him alive.

Hollie has publicly spoken out on her belief that Archie had participated in the Blackout Challenge.

Archie Battersbee was found unconscious by his mother in April. (HANDOUT / PA)

TikTok chiefs measures have been put in place to prevent users from sharing videos on the trend. They claim searching the term 'Blackout Challenge' now takes users to a safety centre on the app.

Users are also able to report any videos that contain graphic content. TikTok has deleted videos of the challenge from the platform.

Leon's friends and loved ones gathered to release balloons in his memory days after his passing. A Celtic strip, signed with moving messages from his pals, was also mounted on a railing at their local park.

A Celtic top was mounted onto a railing at a local park in Leon Brown's memory. (HANDOUT)

Lauryn now hopes Hoops fans will get behind a round of applause for Leon during the 14th minute of the Old Firm match on Saturday so her much-loved son can be "14 forever".

She said: "This week has been awful. But Leon's friends have been really great.

"They've been helping me through it all and they have asked fans to clap in his memory during the game at the weekend. Celtic player Liel Abada will be wearing a t-shirt with Leon’s picture underneath his top on the day and he is going to get the team to sign a strip top.

"We have also arranged for Leon's picture to be shown during the game with a wee message on the big screen - "Forever 14."

Lauryn is currently trying to get her hands on tickets for the game, so she can be there in person for the memorial applause.

She added: "It would be amazing and a really special moment to go to the game if me and my parents could be there in person."

A TikTok spokesperson said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to Leon Brown's family during this incredibly difficult time. The safety of our community is our priority and we take any claim about a dangerous challenge very seriously.

"Content of this nature is prohibited on our platform and would be removed if found."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at Ochilview Court in Cumbernauld around 8am on Thursday, August 25.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Loved ones created a fundraiser to support Leon's family. To donate click here.


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