A SAINTS player and his wife grieving for the loss of their baby son have thanked fans and the club for their support.

Richard and Emily Chaplow spoke after the sudden death of their “beautiful” baby son Teddy Noah last weekend.

Emily, who was at almost full term in her pregnancy, went into hospital as the couple thought something was wrong. Tragically doctors could not detect the baby’s heartbeat.

The couple have two young sons.

Richard, 28, who lives in the Southampton area, has been on loan at Championship side Millwall from March until the end of the season.

In a gesture of support for his teammate, Saints striker Rickie Lambert pulled up his shirt to reveal a red T-shirt with “Teddy” emblazoned across the front after scoring against Stoke City on the final day of the Premier League season last Sunday.

The midfielder is not the first Saints player to be touched by the tragedy of losing such a young child. Fellow on-loan player Billy Sharp lost his own baby son just two days after his birth.

Richard said: “After the death of our beautiful son Teddy, myself and my wife Emily would like to thank everyone for all the kind words and messages we have received in the last few days, especially to all at Southampton Football Club and the local community. We both appreciate this very much.

“Having been asked by lots of people who would like to donate something in Teddy’s honour, we have decided that if anyone wanted to do this, then we would very much like this to be the LJS Foundation which was set up after the sad loss of Billy Sharp’s young son Luey Jacob.”

Messages of support and sympathy have been posted on Richard’s Twitter site, including one from Millwall Football Club.

Richard responded by tweeting: “Thank you for everyone’s kind words, our little angel Teddy Noah was unable to stay with us but we feel blessed to hold him in our arms x”.

Billy Sharp and partner Jade Fair told the Daily Echo last August of their heartbreak after losing son Luey who lived for just two days.

Jade had given birth six weeks early in October 2011, but the couple were told soon after that their baby boy could not be saved.

He had been born with gastroschisis, a defect of the abdominal wall which causes the bowel to grow outside the body.

The couple launched their own charity, the Luey Jacob Sharp Foundation, in memory of their son to raise awareness and fund research that might one day prevent the condition.