GIFTED pupil and star rugby captain Jay Ryles-Jenkins is fighting for his life after falling ill just minutes at the end of a cup final where he led Sheldon School to victory.

Jay, 16, of Silbury Close, Chippenham, was in the changing rooms after winning the county cup final against Hardenhuish 43-7 last Wednesday when he became disorientated.

Teachers and fellow pupils tended to him until an air ambulance arrived and flew him to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

He has undergone a series of tests and operations at hospital but remains unconscious and in a critical condition.

No one was aware of Jay being injured during the match and he received no medical attention on the pitch.

Headteacher Gerard MacMahon said: “There was no obvious injury throughout the game and it was not stopped at any point.

“Jay was taken ill about 20 minutes after the game, while he was in the changing rooms.

“He started to feel unwell and the teachers grew concerned when he kept missing his mouth while trying to drink some water.

“The teachers in the changing rooms had more than 50 years worth of experience between them and knew exactly what to do.

“There is absolutely no question at all of any foul play during the game.

He added: “I would like to commend my staff and all of the pupils in Year 11 who have had to come to terms with a very worrying situation.”

Jay’s mother Sue had asked the school to pass on a message that Jay would want his friends to keep studying hard for their GCSEs and not to worry about him.

Games teacher Paul Weller said: “If Jay was complaining of feeling unwell we would have taken him off as we were winning fairly easily and other team members were subbed throughout the game. As captain he would have wanted to stay on until the end.”

After the game Jay posed for pictures with the trophy.

It was initially thought that Jay, who is a prefect and had been predicted straight A and A* grades in his GCSEs, was suffering from anaphylactic shock as he is allergic to nuts.

Friend Tom Dunn, who played rugby with Jay and went to the gym with him with three times a week, said: “I went to shake his hand while he was in hospital. I felt he knew we were all there.”

Ollie Webb said: “Jay is one of the lads and knows how to have a laugh but he also knows when to keep his head down and study.”