Danny, 11, joins in city’s Run for Rhys

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active - BY KATE LALLY kate.lally@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @kate­lal­lyx

ASOUTHPORT school­boy ran for Rhys Jones on Sun­day. Rhys’s life was cel­e­brated with a fam­ily fun run de­signed to mark his legacy and sup­port the com­mu­nity work car­ried out in the mur­dered boy’s mem­ory.

Ever­ton-mad Danny McLough­lin said he took part be­cause it made him feel ‘‘very sad that Rhys never made it home”.

Danny said: “I’m 11 years old, like Rhys was, and I’m a footy mad Blue, too.

“It’s aw­ful that Rhys never made it back home to his fam­ily af­ter train­ing and I want his fam­ily to know how much I care. “EFC for­ever.” The Run for Rhys event in Crox­teth Coun­try Park was held on Sun­day, Au­gust 27 – just days af­ter the 10th an­niver­sary of the school­boy’s death.

Rhys was walk­ing home from foot­ball train­ing when he was gunned down on the evening of Au­gust 22, 2007.

The 11-year-old was hit by a bul­let fired by Crox­teth Crew gang mem­ber Sean Mercer as the then 16-year-old aimed at a ri­val across the car park of the Fir Tree pub in Crox­teth Park.

The fight to put Mercer and his crim­i­nal as­so­ci­ates be­hind bars at­tracted in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion while Rhys’s death sparked a huge out­pour­ing of grief and calls to end the bru­tal gang­land ri­valry that had caused mis­ery on the streets of Crox­teth and Nor­ris Green. Daniel’s mum, Paula Sherry, said Daniel came up with the idea to run for Rhys him­self. She said: “He was talk­ing about Rhys and ask­ing ques­tions about what hap­pened.

“When I told him, he was so shocked and up­set. And then when he found about the run he lit­er­ally begged me to do it, and of course I said yes.

“I asked him why he wanted to do it and he said he wants Rhys’s fam­ily to know how much peo­ple care.”

Danny, who will start at Christ The King in Septem­ber, also used the run to raise money for Alder Hey Chil­dren’s Char­ity.

Well-wish­ers flocked to his Just­Giv­ing page.

One wrote: “Good luck Dan! Your mum should be so proud of you mate.”

An­other said: “Good on you, Dan. You’re a real in­spi­ra­tion.”

There is still time to spon­sor Danny. Go to just­giv­ing.com/ fundrais­ing/daniel-mclough­lin3

Danny McLough­lin at the run

The Run for Rhys at Liver­pool’s Crox­teth Coun­try Park in mem­ory of Rhys Jones, above

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