Rhys Jones Community Centre to open in Liverpool

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

A community centre and sports pitches built in memory of murdered Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones have opened.

Eleven-year-old Rhys was shot as he made his way home from football practice on 22 August 2007.

In 2008, Sean Mercer, 18, was jailed for murdering Rhys and told he would serve at least 22 years before being eligible for parole.

Rhys's parents watched as the £500,000 centre in Langley Close, Croxteth Park, was opened on Saturday.

'Tragic incident'

The centre has a pavilion with changing rooms, all-weather football pitches and parking facilities. It will be run by Alt Valley Community Trust.

Councillor Peter Mitchell, who has been instrumental in seeing the project come to fruition, said the area needed a focal point.

He said the centre would be a celebration of Rhys's life and would be "a truly positive story".

"We refuse to be defined by one terrible, tragic incident," he told the BBC.

He added Rhys's parents were "delighted' with the centre.

Half the cost of the project came from the Rhys Jones Memorial Fund, with the remainder of the money and land donated by Liverpool City Council.

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