Birmingham & Black Country

Tunisia attack: Scarves laid at Walsall FC for victims

Image caption Scarves have been laid in memory of Walsall fans Adrian Evans, Patrick Evans and Joel Richards

Scarves have been laid at Walsall FC's ground in memory of three people from the Black Country who died in the Tunisian beach attack.

Adrian Evans, 44, from Tipton, died along with his father, Patrick Evans, 78, and nephew Joel Richards, 19, from Wednesbury.

All three men were Walsall FC fans.

At least 30 Britons were among 38 people killed when a student linked to Islamic State extremists opened fire on a beach in Sousse on Friday.

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Media captionOwen Richards, Adrian Evans, Patrick Evans and Joel Richards watched Walsall FC in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley in March

Adrian Evans worked for Sandwell Council as a manager in the gas services department. His nephew, Walsall season-ticket holder Joel, was a football referee and student at the University of Worcester. His brother, Owen Richards, 16, survived the attack.

Prime Minister David Cameron has led tributes in Parliament to the family.

"It is absolutely heartbreaking," he said.

"All of us have read about it in the newspapers and I know how the family and the community will be affected for many years to come."

A GoFundMe page set-up to support the family has raised more than £3,300.

Sandwell Council is inviting people to pay their respects in two books of condolence.

One is in the Sandwell Homes office where Adrian worked, in Roway Lane in Oldbury, and the other in the foyer at the council house in Freeth Street, Oldbury.

Image caption Walsall fans were invited to start placing tributes outside the stadium from 09:00 BST

Colleague Mark Peniket said his death was a "real, real shock".

"Adrian will be a great loss both personally and in his working life," he said.

"He was such a popular person."

A statement from St Mary's Primary School in Wednesbury, where Joel was a former pupil and returned as a volunteer, said he was a fantastic role model, "bright, enthusiastic, aspirational and always smiling".

"Joel was an intelligent, radiant and compassionate young man who had the world at his feet and everything to live for," the statement said.

"The staff at St Mary's are heartbroken at the tragic loss of his life and the lives of his uncle and grandfather.

"We would like to offer our prayers and sympathy to his parents, grandmother and brother Owen who survived the attack.

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Media captionChad Ehlertsen remembers Joel Richards

"There are no words that could possibly do justice to this wonderful young man. We were proud to have known him."

Professor David Green, vice chancellor of the University of Worcester, described Joel as a "first class student" and was "the son everybody would want to have".

Walsall FC changed the main image on its social media accounts to a photograph showing the three outside Wembley Stadium at the Saddlers' Johnstone's Paint Trophy final appearance three months ago.

In a statement the club said it would do everything it could to support the family.

Image caption Sandwell Council is inviting people to pay their respects in two books of condolence

"It is at times like this when the football family really comes together and we have been overwhelmed by the messages of condolence that we have received from all around the world," it said.

"That iconic image of the three men, along with Owen, enjoying our first-ever appearance at Wembley Stadium in March resonates with us all.

"It was a special moment that we all enjoyed together and now at this most devastating of times, we join together to offer strength and support."

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