Family of tragic Hartlepool schoolboy Matthew Sherrington pay tribute to 'kind and caring' child

The family of tragic Matthew Sherrington have paid tribute to their “kind and caring” boy after his death was confirmed.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 4:45 am

The 14-year-old Hartlepool schoolboy, known as Matty, disappeared more than a fortnight ago while playing in the water with friends close to Hartlepool’s Steetley Pier.

Forensic tests followed with police confirming on Friday that it was Matthew.

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A photo shared by Cleveland Police as it joined in the search for Matthew Sherrington.

The Manor Academy pupil’s grandfather, Anthony Bell, 55, from Blackhall, has now paid tribute to him by saying: “He was a lovely, fun child, he was caring and kind, we used to love a joke together.

"He will be missed and was a big part of the family.”

Mr Bell added that Matthew, who had three sisters, loved playing on his Xbox and spending time with family and friends.

An extensive search was undertaken after the alarm was raised shortly after 6pm on July 15.

Anthony Bell, the grandfather of Matthew Sherrington, has called for more water safety training for youngsters.

Matthew’s mum, Amy, has now said: “I would just like to thank everyone who joined the search, particularly the Coastguard and the RNLI, and everyone who has supported us over the last fortnight.”

Hundreds of people, including members of the emergency services, attended a tribute event underneath the pier last Sunday.

An online appeal to support Mathew’s family has also raised more than £6,500.

Confirming the body was Matthew, Cleveland Police added: “The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.

Hundreds gathered to take part in a balloon release for Matthew Sherrington.

“Our thoughts remain with Matthew’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

The coroners’ court inquest into Matthew’s death is expected to open shortly.

Mr Bell now hopes “to stop this from happening again to other people”, adding: "I went to a school where they caught us how to canoe and the life saving skills we needed, they taught us what to do if you went under and how to right yourself.

"That definitely needs to be brought back.

Flowers and cards left in memory of Matthew Sherrington at Steetley Pier.

"I know when you go to school they take you swimming, but I don’t think that’s enough.

"This should be bred into you, parents should be doing it, so should schools, somebody needs to teach these kids.

"They need to be taught things like what to do if you get taken under and how to swim to the side in a rip tide.”

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