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Thursday, 3 November 2011

Rhys Jones (27 September 1995 – 22 August 2007)

The murder of Rhys Milford Jones occurred in Liverpool, England, when he was shot in the back.

An 18-year-old youth went on trial on 2 October 2008 and was convicted of murder on 16 December 2008.

Rhys was a dedicated supporter of Everton Football Club, and his father was a season ticket holder. Players of the team laid a floral tribute, football boots and football shirts at the scene of the shooting.

The players and fans paid tribute to Rhys in a minute's applause at the home game with Blackburn Rovers, held on Saturday 25 August at Goodison Park.

After a suggestion from Liverpool Echo columnist Tony Barrett in his blog, which was supported by many of its readers, in an unprecedented move arch rivals Liverpool agreed to play the beginning of the Z-Cars theme tune Johnny Todd – the song that traditionally greets the arrival of the Everton team onto the Goodison Park pitch – prior to the Liverpool theme tune of You'll Never Walk Alone ahead of their UEFA Champions League game with Toulouse on 28 August.

This was followed by a period of applause, and the Liverpool players and staff, Toulouse players and match day officials wore black armbands during the game.

Over 2500 mourners attended Rhys's funeral, which was held in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 6 September 2007. The family of Rhys issued a public invitation for well-wishers to attend the service. The service was in celebration of Rhys's life and his family had asked that bright clothes, or football strips, be worn by the mourners.

During the service, Rhys's father read a poem he had written for his son. Footballer Alan Stubbs, an Everton defender, read from the Bible. After the service there was a private burial.

The Tuebrook Junior Sports League introduced a new trophy to be presented to the Challenge Cup winners in honour of Rhys in May 2008.

In September 2008 four Liverpool songwriters Taylor Bradley featuring Jules released a song called "Angel Child (Song for Rhys)" for the Rhys Jones Memorial Cup Trust Fund.

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