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Last Updated: Monday, 27 August 2007, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Everton players' tribute to Rhys
Everton squad at murder scene
Everton players laid flowers, a shirt and boots at the scene

Players from Everton Football Club have paid tribute to Rhys Jones during a visit to the scene where the 11-year-old was murdered in Merseyside.

The squad laid flowers, a shirt and boots at the makeshift shrine to the youngster outside the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth, Liverpool.

Rhys, an Everton season ticket holder, was shot outside the pub on Wednesday.

Detectives investigating his death have released six suspects, four without charge and two on police bail.

The Everton squad laid a wreath on Monday in the shape of a blue and white football bearing the message: "With deepest sympathy to the family of Rhys from all at Everton Football Club."

Everton captain Phil Neville urged people to help the police catch the youngster's killer.

"We are here today to pay our respects and appeal to anyone to come out and give information about the person who did this terrible thing," he said.

Rhys Jones
Good night - God Bless Rhys
Message from Wayne Rooney

"Rhys was an 11-year-old lad and massive Evertonian. We just hope this thing never happens again."

His colleague, defender Alan Stubbs, said the shooting had devastated the city of Liverpool and also appealed for information.

"It has affected everyone, it has affected the whole city.

"What's happened is a tragic, tragic event.

"Anyone with any information to help the police, please come forward."

The squad's tribute followed a minute's applause by almost 40,000 fans in front of Rhys's family at Goodison Park ground on Saturday before Everton's home game against Blackburn Rovers.

Former Everton player Wayne Rooney, who was born in Croxteth, has also left a floral tribute to Rhys.

An Everton shirt with the message 'Good night - God Bless Rhys' was left by Rooney, his fiancee Coleen McLoughlin, and her family.

A floral tribute from Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin's family was left at the scene

A bouquet of lilies also left at the shrine to Rhys carried the message: "To Rhys, such a tragic loss, rest in peace with the angels. All the players and staff at Blackburn Rovers Football Club."

Merseyside Police have said they have spoken to a key witness in the inquiry but want more people in the community to come forward.

Two teenage boys and two teenage girls were released without charge on Monday morning. A further two males, aged 16 and 19, were released on bail pending further inquiries.

It follows the arrest of four teenage boys - a 14-year-old, two aged 15 and one aged 18 - earlier in the inquiry. They were also released on bail.

Zero tolerance

The shooting has also prompted the father of Damilola Taylor to call for a zero tolerance approach to gun crime.

Richard Taylor's son, Damilola, was murdered in Peckham seven years ago.

He told BBC News 24 that "more had to be done to" keep young people away from violence and that lessons had to be learnt from such tragedies.

"There are some areas that need to be dealt with in terms of dealing with gangs - allowing gangs to form among young people," he added.

"Young people have been used by gang leaders to lure them into activities that will end up in this manner.

"I cannot imagine a young boy of 11 - my young son was stabbed - but a young boy of 11 was shot down with a gun, it's really not something I could ever have believed could happen."


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