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Tributes to 'little Rocky' Liam Evans after death of Sandwich Amateur Boxing Club member from Deal

The parents of a boxing-mad teenager have today paid tribute to their "too good to be true" son saying he would not have chosen to leave them.

Liam Evans, 14, of Churchill Avenue in Deal, was found unconscious in his bedroom on Wednesday and died in hospital the next day.

'Little Rocky' Liam Evans with his collection of boxing medals and trophies
'Little Rocky' Liam Evans with his collection of boxing medals and trophies

His death has shaken the community not least Sandwich Amateur Boxing Club who say their club will never be the same again.

The Goodwin Academy pupil's parents Mark and Tiffany have also paid tribute to their "amazing boy", who was committed to the sport he loved as well as his family.

Mr Evans, 42, said: "He was more unique than your average 14-year-old. He was too good to be true.

"We can't even take the credit for that or say that's how we brought him up, it was just the way he was.

"He never had any hate in him.

Liam Evans pictured with his parents Mark and Tiffany and brother Robbie-Paul Evans
Liam Evans pictured with his parents Mark and Tiffany and brother Robbie-Paul Evans

"This was his favourite time of year. There's no way that boy would have chosen to leave us.

"He was so happy and so loved. Everyone you speak to will say the same.

"The pain just gets worse everyday."

Liam had been boxing at a different club KMD Boxing Club in Dover on Wednesday and returned home for his dinner.

He went to his bedroom and when his dad went to tell him the football results later in the evening was found unconscious following what appeared to be an accident.

Spurs fan Liam Evans at a match
Spurs fan Liam Evans at a match

Paramedics performed CPR on Liam for two hours and he was taken to William Harvey Hospital where he died the next day.

The youngster had waited until he was 10 years old - the minimum age - to join Sandwich Amateur Boxing Club and loved being in the ring.

He had earned himself an impressive medal and trophy collection having competed in 13 bouts, winning two, and was also named Kent Schoolboy Championship runner-up in April.

Mr Evans said: "He loved it. He was so committed.

"He'd go out running and doing hill sprints. We've got videos of him running up and down the stairs.

Sandwich Amateur Boxing Club changed is profile picture to this image of Liam Evans
Sandwich Amateur Boxing Club changed is profile picture to this image of Liam Evans

"Because he was so tiny, he would always be at a disadvantage and even when I said did he want to try something else, he said, 'No, I'm going to keep going, dad.'"

Mrs Evans, 34, added: "Even when he lost a bout, the sportsmanship he would show was fantastic.

"He would always go up and give the other one a cuddle and shake their hand.

"He didn't really like hurting anyone."

Sandwich Amateur Boxing Club has said Liam was the "heart and soul" of the club and is already making plans for ways in which to keep his memory alive.

Liam Evans (front right) and his fellow Sandwich Boxing Club members presenting a cheque to Pilgrims Hospice earlier this year
Liam Evans (front right) and his fellow Sandwich Boxing Club members presenting a cheque to Pilgrims Hospice earlier this year

They announced his passing via their Facebook page, referring to him as "Sandwich's little Rocky" who was "always smiling, always positive and polite."

The post read: "With a heavy heart the club must inform you of our devastating loss, the death of our champ Liam Evans. RIP our little Rocky.

"Heart of a lion, and that heart has stopped beating. You will always be part of our club.

"In our hearts, in our thoughts. We are absolutely devastated.

"We are proud to be your boxing family and will treasure our memories of you. Miss you champ. The club will never be the same."

Liam Evans on a day out with his family
Liam Evans on a day out with his family

They have changed both their profile picture and cover photo to include images of Liam and Joseph McCarthy has created and shared a video of his highlights in and out of the ring.

Other amateur clubs including Belfast, Kingston, Stevenage, Bexhill, and even Texas, have sent their condolences while those who knew him directly have shared their memories.

Alli Wright said: "Absolutely loved watching Liam box.

"He always gave 100%, never ever gave up. A truly gutsy, brave little warrior with the heart of a lion. So very, very sad, RIP little Liam."

Leanne Underwood said: "Liam was the kindest boy. A beautiful soul. We will miss him and that smile that lit up the room."

Liam Evans (right) with dad Mark and brother Robbie-Paul, 10
Liam Evans (right) with dad Mark and brother Robbie-Paul, 10

Aside from boxing, Liam was a Tottenham Hotspur FC fan and enjoyed days out to matches with his parents and siblings.

The X-Box gamer also loved to play Fifa and Fortnite and had recently started to beat his dad.

Liam was a promising guitarist, having first picked up the instrument while at Hornbeam Primary School.

His parents said he had an ability to pick up music within minutes and enjoyed teaching his friends.

He was the "best brother" to his five siblings; Ellouise, 15, Gracie, 12, Robbie-Paul, 10, and four-year-old twins Teddy and Frankie.

Liam Evans has been described as the "best brother"
Liam Evans has been described as the "best brother"

Simon Smith, principal of Goodwin Academy, has also paid tribute.

He said: “We are all devastated by this tragic loss.

"Liam was a wonderful boy, who was hugely popular, extremely talented and a keen amateur boxer.

"All our thoughts are with his family and friends at this enormously difficult time.

“Our school prides itself on being a close, tight-knit community and upholding our duty of care, and we will be giving the greatest support both to Liam’s family and friends, and to all our students, as they try to make sense of this loss.”

Liam's funeral is likely to take place in the New Year.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal


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