Rhys Jones: Councillors approve memorial centre

Rhys Jones Rhys Jones was murdered in 2007 as he walked home from football practice

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Plans for a community centre dedicated to murdered Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones have been backed by councillors.

Eleven-year-old Rhys, from Croxteth, was shot as he made his way home from football practice in August 2007.

His killer, Sean Mercer, 18, was jailed for life in 2008 with a recommendation he serve at least 22 years.

The idea of a community centre honouring Rhys was first mooted shortly after his death as part of his family's wish to create a "lasting memorial".

'All he wanted'

Stephen Jones welcomed the approval

The new development, which is scheduled to be completed in 16 months, will include all-weather pitches.

Rhys's father, Stephen Jones, said: "Obviously we wish the tragedy had never happened but we've got to try and make some good of it."

The schoolboy was shot in the car park of the former Fir Tree pub in Croxteth when he was caught in the crossfire between two gangs as he left a nearby football pitch.

Liverpool City Council's planning committee approved the scheme, which is at the site of the former pub, at a meeting earlier.

Mr Jones added: "Football was his life; that is all he ever wanted to do... hopefully the pitches at the Fir Tree will be a lasting memorial to him."

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