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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
James Holt

Young boys who died in frozen lake tragedy named as heartbroken family pay tribute to brothers and cousin

The four young boys, aged six to 11, who tragically died after falling into an icy lake on Sunday have now been pictured, as their families pay heartfelt tributes to their 'beautiful boys'.

Brothers Samuel, six, and Finlay Butler, eight, both lost their lives along with their 11-year-old cousin Thomas Stewart and hero friend Jack, who had tried to save the youngsters at Babbs Mill nature reserve in Solihull on Sunday afternoon (December 11).

Finlay, Samuel and Thomas were pulled from the freezing water and rushed to hospital where eight-year-old Finlay and 11-year-old Thomas died a short time later. Ten-year-old Jack Johnson also tragically died on Sunday, with police confirming that the youngest, six-year-old Samuel, lost his fight on Wednesday.

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Finlay, Samuel and Thomas' family has now paid tribute to their 'beautiful boys' saying they are 'devastated' at their loss. Thomas’ older brother also remembered his sibling and cousin ahead of the sad news yesterday that Sam had died.

Brothers Finlay and Samuel Butler (Family Handout)

In a heartfelt statement released by West Midlands Police, Finlay and Samuel's parents said: “As a family we are devastated at the loss of our beautiful boys Tom, Fin and Sam in such tragic circumstances.

"We would like to thank the emergency services for all they did in rescuing the boys and to the community for their support, it has been overwhelming. We would like to pass on our condolences to Jack’s family at this very sad time, and ask for privacy from the media to begin to grieve.”

Ten-year-old Jack Johnson died a hero (Facebook)

Thomas’ older brother wrote: “Thomas was such a lively little soul, he had a big heart for such a young kid and he was so beautiful. He loved being outside playing with his mates. I love you Tom, big bro will take care of the family and I will see you soon. Make sure you keep practising on warzone and get a win, will you?

“Can’t forget about my dinosaur man Fin, he loved dinosaurs so much and always showing me new things he built on Minecraft and all the new stuff he learnt on it. Gonna miss you little man.”

Thomas Stewart, 11, who also died after falling into the icy lake (Family Handout)

Extensive underwater searches were carried out and have now concluded. An official fundraiser has also been set up for the four boys' families, raising over £10,000 at the time of writing.

A candlelit vigil was held for the victims on Monday night, and a second one will take place this Saturday at 4pm. Hundreds of floral tributes have been left close to the scene.

Pictured flowers and tributes at the scene (Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

Supt Rich Harris said: “This is a tragedy beyond words and a grief that is unimaginable for the families and friends of the boys. The support from the community has been overwhelming, not just for the bereaved families, but also for the emergency services, for which we are extremely grateful.

“Our officers will remain in the area in the coming days. Please come and speak to us if you need to.”

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