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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July 2004, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Luke 'wanted to enjoy life'
Luke Walmsley
Luke Walmsley was stabbed in the chest during a school break
Murdered Luke Walmsley was a sport-mad boy whose mantra was "you only get one life, so you might as well enjoy it".

The 14-year-old was on the verge of playing rugby for his country and was a talented performer at judo, scuba diving, climbing and sailing.

His friends remember him as a practical joker and his mother described him as "strong-willed".

But in the weeks leading up to the stabbing that ended his life, his mother believed he was being bullied.

On the day of his death, Jayne Walmsley was sufficiently worried about him to contact the school.

Afraid of being set upon

Luke had pulled out of after-school rugby practice, apparently afraid of being set upon if he left the grounds after dark.

During the trial of the 16-year-old who was convicted of Luke's murder, a statement from Mrs Walmsley said: "It was just not like Luke to miss rugby.

"I wanted to ring the school to get them to sort things out but he didn't want me to and told me to stop fussing."

I wanted to ring the school to get them to sort things out but he didn't want me to and told me to stop fussing
Luke Walmsley's mother Jayne

Mrs Walmsley put him on the school bus and asked her partner, Mark Rowbotham, to ring the school.

Mr Rowbotham, Luke's stepfather, spoke to head teacher Gary Loveridge that morning.

'Ripped apart'

The head agreed to chat with Luke - but the planned conversation never took place.

Within hours Luke had been stabbed through the heart outside a classroom.

At the time the family released a statement saying: "Our family has been ripped apart and will never be the same again.

"He had his full life mapped out, and wanted to become a policeman when he left school."

During the trial at Nottingham Crown Court the teenager who murdered Luke claimed he had only taken the knife to school to frighten the boy.

But the jury found him guilty after hearing he had shown "no emotion" after the incident and "looked angry" beforehand.

Luke's family organised the Luke Walmsley Sports Foundation after his death - they hope to raise enough funds to build a sports centre in his memory.




SEE ALSO:
Teenager guilty of school murder
26 Jul 04 |  Lincolnshire


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