Published: 11:53, 07 February 2020
| Updated: 12:17, 07 February 2020
Hundreds of youngsters staged a candlelit vigil in a touching tribute to tragic Sheppey teenager Emre Huseyin on what would have been his 16th birthday.
They began filing through the gate at New Road playing fields in Sheerness after school yesterday(Feb 6) as dusk fell at 5pm.
Floral tributes for Emre Huseyin
In a terrible twist, it also marked what would have been his 16th birthday.
Organisers spelled out his name and created a giant heart with 1,000 tea-lights on the grass.
Others flooded a nearby wall with a never-ending line of floral tributes. One included a drawing of the Oasis Academy pupil.
Many staff were also present including Paul Murray and principal Tina Lee.
She said: "The pupils organised this all themselves. They did a marvellous job."
Mr Murray said: "Emre was a lovely young man who we will miss so much. Our students did him so proud this evening with their own wonderful vigil."
At 5.30pm, helium-filled balloons were released into the night sky and drifted into the dying rays of the setting sun.
Family friend Nicolae Costin-Christian blinked back the tears as he looked up and saw the planet Venus shining brightly on its own.
"See, only one star in the sky tonight," he said.
Emre's distraught father Yusuf Sakaryali was also present to witness the outpouring of grief for his son, who died at his home home in Berridge Road, Sheerness, last Saturday (Feb 1).
At one stage the crowd burst into a spontaneous Happy Birthday song for their missing friend and followed it with three cheers.
There will be a service to celebrate Emre's life at the Minster campus of the Oasis Academy in Minster Road on Tuesday at 5.30pm.
It will be led by the Rev Steve Chalke, the founder of the Oasis Community Learning which runs the secondary school.
Mr Chalke worked with Emre at the Sheppey Community Development Forum which will be meeting afterwards at 6.30pm.
More by this authorJohn Nurden