Kyle Rees, Boy Reportedly Killed By Cricket Ball, Remembered By Mother

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First Posted: 29/02/2012 12:21 Updated: 29/02/2012 12:50   PA

The mother of a boy who died after apparently being hit on the head with a cricket ball described him today as the "light of my life".

Kyle Rees, 16, suffered a serious head injury on Monday during an incident at Portchester School, in Bournemouth, Dorset, and died in hospital yesterday.

His mother Tanya Cooper, from Bournemouth, sobbed as she described her love for her son.

"He was the light of our lives, he was our everything," she said.

"I can't think of enough words to say about him."

She added: "I would like to thank everyone for their kind words that they have written about him."

Ms Cooper added that the whole family was devastated at their loss.

Flowers were left outside the school yesterday in tribute to Kyle and police were in attendance on Wednesday.

Police are investigating reports that pupils were involved a mass brawl at the school on Monday.

A pupil from the school told BBC Radio Solent that the fight, involving "30-40 kids", broke out at around 2pm and footballs, tennis balls, shoes and chairs were thrown.

He said he did not know what caused the incident and it was "random copycat violence".

Dorset police said the fight was "one line of inquiry" in the investigation but stressed they had not yet received any other authoritative report of what happened during the fight.

Staff and students at the school are said to be "devastated" by the death of the "memorable and talented young man".

A 16-year-old boy who was arrested in connection with the incident, initially for an offence of assault and subsequently on suspicion of manslaughter, has been released on bail while inquiries continue.

Dorset Police said the incident happened at 2.10pm and Kyle was taken by ambulance to Bournemouth Hospital.

He was later transferred to Southampton General Hospital where he died yesterday.

The force said it had been informed of the incident at 7.30pm and officers are continuing to investigate.

Teachers and children have been helping police with their inquiries and the local Safeguarding Children's Board has been informed.

Tributes to the teenager have been left on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, executive head of Portchester School, said: "Students and staff are devastated by this terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers are very much with the boy's family and friends.

"It is difficult to know what to do for the best in these distressing circumstances but our focus must be providing as much support as possible to our close-knit school community as we all try to come to terms with what has happened.

"The next few weeks and months are going to be emotionally testing for our students and staff, but we will be doing all we can for them.

"We are also fully assisting the authorities with their investigations.

"The emergency services cannot be praised highly enough for their prompt actions at the time, and we also pay tribute to the outstanding medical help he received at hospital.

"At an appropriate time we will be celebrating his memory and life at school. He was a memorable and talented young man.

"He was very popular with his peers and was due to do well in his GCSEs this summer."

Hundreds of bunches of flowers have been left at the school gates.

Tributes include: "Kyle Rees we will miss you very much. We will never forget you" and "I will always remember cheeky bunz".

One tribute written on a football says: "RIP mate From Duncan ur be close to me forever xxx"

Another says: "Kyle you were a lovely lad, you are dearly missed."

Neighbours described Kyle as a kind, popular boy.

Ryan Thorn, 18, told the Bournemouth Daily Echo: "He was a great lad, a bubbly character. He made everyone laugh or smile.

"I can't believe it has happened. He didn't have one bad bone in his body. Everyone loved him."

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