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Last Updated: Friday, 5 August 2005, 20:50 GMT 21:50 UK
Thousands at vigil for teenager
Anthony Walker's family at the vigil

Three thousand people have attended a candlelight procession to the place where black teenager Anthony Walker was killed a week ago in Merseyside.

His family and members of the local community walked from a service at St Gabriel's church, Huyton, to the park where he was killed with an axe.

Anthony's mother, Gee, begged the gathering on Friday "don't let my son die in vain".

Earlier a man and a youth were remanded in custody accused of his murder.

Paul Taylor, 20, of Elizabeth Road in Huyton, and Michael Barton, 17, are due before Liverpool Crown Court on 23 August. They have been charged with conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and murder.

Anthony Walker
Anthony Walker was attacked near McGoldrick Park

In an unplanned address Gee Walker, a special needs teacher, thanked those who turned up to remember her son, who died after he was attacked near McGoldrick Park last Friday.

She also said: "You young people don't let this happen again don't let my son's life be in vain."

Mrs Walker, 49, recalled how her son - a devout Christian - always comforted her.

"He would say to me, Mum - you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you," she said.

The trauma of these last seven days have been deeply felt in every street, behind every door of our community
Rev Malcolm Rogers

"So when you feel weak, remember that. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and that is where I get my strength from."

And to applause she added: "God bless you all."

The vicar of St Gabriels the Rev Malcolm Rogers said Anthony's death had shocked the community to the core.

"Friends, the trauma of these last seven days have been deeply felt in every street, behind every door of our community," he said.

"Our breaking hearts can only imagine the grief that Anthony's family is feeling.

Candelit vigil
Nearly 3,000 people attended the vigil

"Although we feel that Huyton and Merseyside have lost one of its finest sons, tonight we remember first and foremost that he was Gee and Steve's son, a cherished grandson, a beloved brother, a nephew, a cousin and a friend."

Anthony's relatives, friends and girlfriend, who witnessed the horrific attack on him, sat silently at the front of the church.

One of Anthony's favourite songs, I Try by Talib Kweli, was played and a series of pictures showing Anthony from a toddler to a teenager were projected onto a screen at the front of the church.

As the service ended the family members, led by Mrs Walker, Anthony's father Steve and sister Dominique, started a candlelit procession to McGoldrick Park where almost 3,000 well-wishers gathered.


SEE ALSO:
Two in court over Walker killing
05 Aug 05 |  Merseyside


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