Teenage Boxer Frank Varey Dead After Drowning in River: 'No Boy Should Lose Their Life at 16'
"This is a sad day for the boxing community," England Talent coach John Stubbs said of Frank Varey's death
Frank Varey, a 16-year-old boxer from Great Britain, died this week while swimming with friends at a river in the North West region of England.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Varey's body was found by police around 11 p.m. local time on Thursday, hours after he had been reported missing. He had been visiting the River Dee in Handbridge, Chester, located about 27 miles from Liverpool. No other details about the circumstances around Varey's death have been made public.
The tragedy was confirmed by England Boxing, which posted a tribute to the promising young athlete on Friday.
"Frank was a larger-than-life character. I've never met anyone that could lose a hotel key 27 times in the first two days of the trip, or anyone with the pre-bout ritual he had," England Talent coach John Stubbs said.
"No boy should lose their life at 16," he continued. "This is a sad day for the boxing community and my thoughts are with big Frank and the family."
Screenshots captured from Varey's Instagram story from Thursday morning showed people jumping into the river. Varey also uploaded a selfie with "Chester River Front" tagged in the post.
Tyson Fury, the famed British boxer and two-time world heavyweight champion, posted a tribute on social media commenting on the potential Varey had to make an impact on the sport.
"RIP FRANK. Was a future world champ," the 32-year-old athlete wrote in his Instagram Story. "May god be with your family."
England Boxing Chief Executive Officer, Gethin Jenkins, also remembered Varey as a "popular character" who was well-liked by his peers.
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"He was a very talented boxer, multiple National Champion and a member of our England set-up and Talent Pathway, proudly representing his country in the 2019 Euros. Although young, he had clearly demonstrated much promise," Jenkins said.
"He was also a very popular character with his fellow boxers and those who coached him, bringing a sense of fun to everything he did," he added. "He will leave a huge gap in people's lives."
According to the BBC, another 16-year-old boy died in a river accident on Tuesday in the nearby town of Frodsham.