Loved ones of Hartlepool schoolboy Matthew Sherrington to gather near where he was last seen
Friends and family of Matthew Sherrington will gather close to the spot where he was last seen before the teenager became lost at sea.
Cleveland Police confirmed on Thursday, July 22, that officers searching for the 14-year-old had found a body near to Steetley Pier in Hartlepool, and, while the force is yet to formally confirm it was him, they have informed his loved ones.
He had last been seen on the evening of Thursday, July 15, while playing in the sea with friends, with police saying specialist officers are supporting Matthew’s family.
A message on the page reads: “Matthew was a 14-year-old boy, with his whole life ahead of him.
"We’re absolutely distraught over our beautiful boy taken far too soon.
"We’re trying to help relieve the pressure of the funeral costs from his parents whilst they grieve and come to terms with Matthew been suddenly taken.”
It comes as plans are made to host an event for the Manor Academy student at 4pm tomorrow, Sunday, July 25, near to the pier, with people invited to lay flowers and release biodegradable balloons.
People are also asked to wear Matthew’s favourite colour, black, or blue or green, for the event.
It comes after the emergency services who supported the search for him shared words of kindness to his family and his school paid its own tribute.
Hartlepool RNLI said: “RNLI Hartlepool send their heartfelt condolences to Matthew's family and friends.
"The prime concern of the volunteers and staff involved was the safe and dignified recovery of the body to enable the family and friends to have some degree of closure and comfort.”
Hartlepool Coastguard Rescue Team added: “We at Hartlepool coastguard would like to send out our heart felt condolences to Matthew’s family and friends as they come to terms with the loss of a loved one.
"We can’t begin to imagine what you are feeling, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength.
“We are at a loss for words during this sorrowful time.
"Please know that We are thinking of you and praying for peace and comfort.”
His school, in Owton Manor Lane, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew's family and friends at this tragic time.”
It went on to share the poem:
Hush dear friends, don't say a word.
Our classmate is gone and free like a bird.
Free to fly in the heavens above,
As a friend we'll always be thinking of.
He is gone from where we can see,
But in our hearts is where he'll always be.
Memories can never be taken away,
So we'll remember him when we learn and play.
Sadness, anger, and wondering why?
Are feelings that will make us cry.
But, our dear friend will help us grieve
Because his spirit will never leave.