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Local News

Heartbroken friends’ tribute to ‘beautiful’ teen after reservoir tragedy

today01/06/2021

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Hundreds of people gathered to release balloons and pay tribute to a “loved” Rotherham teenager who tragically lost his life trying to save his friend in a reservoir.

Sam Haycock, 16, jumped in to help his friend after he began struggling in Ulley Reservoir on Friday afternoon, May 28, even though he was not a strong swimmer.

Emergency services were called to the scene and a huge search was launched for the teenager but tragically his body was found.

Heartbroken friends and family gathered on Monday, May 31, at Clifton Park Bandstand to release balloons and flares in his memory and to pay tribute to him.

To get the latest email updates from South Yorkshire Live, click here .

Family friend Vicky Nixon said around 300 people came along to the event that her children had organised and she said the response was “phenomenal.”

She said: “He was such a wonderful boy.

“My kids idolised him and he did them. When Sam’s parents asked my kids to arrange the balloon event we were honoured to be able to do that for Sam and his family.

“We are all really hurt and devastated at losing Sam.

“My kids created a Facebook group and it ended up getting so huge I had to assist my daughter Keira as she’s only 16.

Friends and family gathered at Clifton Park Bandstand to release balloons after the death of Sam Haycock
Friends and family gathered at Clifton Park Bandstand to release balloons after the death of Sam Haycock
(Image: Aimee Williams)

“The event was at Clifton Park bandstand at Sam’s parents request as Sam loved to relax with his friends there so it was an appropriate place to celebrate his life.

“There must have been at least 300 people there maybe more.

“The reaction was incredible. Sam was a very popular little boy. The response was phenomenal. The children who attended were absolutely incredible.

“Everyone who attended made it so special. You could feel the love for him in everyone.”

On the day, balloons and flares all coloured blue were set off for Sam, to remember him and to celebrate his life.

Happy times! Sam Haycock as a young boy with his loving mum Gaynor
Happy times! Sam Haycock as a young boy with his loving mum Gaynor
(Image: Haycock family)

Tanzar Hanif, who runs a local firework shop, donated blue smoke flares and Aimee Williams helped to take the pictures on the day.

Vicky added: “I am really proud of my daughter and son for being able to achieve such a massive event for such a loved boy.

“We stayed back to help clear up the rubbish and we left the park as we found it.

“We will never come to terms with Sam’s death, we are devastated. He was such a beautiful soul.

“He always had my kids’ backs, always protected them and looked after them.

Organiser Vicky Nixon said around 300 people attended to celebrate his life
Organiser Vicky Nixon said around 300 people attended to celebrate his life
(Image: Aimee Williams)

“He has left behind thousands of heartbroken people and we will never be able to fill that hole he has left in our hearts.”

A Gofundme page set up for Sam’s family by friend Theresa Glenn has now raised over £2,500 for the family.

The page initially had a target of £1,000 to go towards supporting Sam’s parents and his siblings.

You can donate to the Gofundmepage here.

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today01/06/2021