THE family and friends of Kyrece Francis paid tribute to the promising footballer during an emotional vigil outside his school.
Hundreds of the 13-year-old’s tearful friends comforted each other as they lay floral tributes outside the gates of Great Marlow School – just days after the school had broken up for the summer holidays.
They were joined by Kyrece’s family, including mum Simone, who hugged friends and took time to read each tribute left for her son.
Many youngsters wore Chelsea shirts and Downley Dynamo’s green-and-white kit in homage to the former Highcrest Academy pupil.
Three of Kyrece’s close friends climbed on to the top of the gates to thank everyone for coming out to pay their respects.
One friend said: “He was always smiling. He was such a great kid, I loved him and this shows just how much everyone will miss him.”
Scores of flowers, signed footballs, shirts, balloons, football scarves and photos of Kyrece were carefully placed along the school gates.
A photo of Kyrece wearing his Dynamos’ kit had a message printed on it which read: “You left us too soon but then some people are too good for this world.”
Another tribute read: “Thank you for being my best friend. Nothing will ever be the same for anyone.
“You were the greatest, funniest guy in the world and I am so glad to have known you.”
Great Marlow School teachers and parents stood in silent support of their pupils and children while they mourned.
Acting headteacher Linton Nash said everyone in the school community was “devastated” at the loss of Kyrece, who was due to study PE, media, art and drama at GCSE level from September.
He said: “Kyrece was a charming and friendly young man, who was kind, respectful and sociable.
“Although he only joined the school nine months ago, he had made a wide circle of friends and made a fantastic impact, especially in sport.
“Kyrece was a wonderful presence in his tutor group and set a great example to his peers with a hundred percent attendance record and one of the highest number of reward points for effort, behaviour and supporting other pupils in his class.
“The whole school community will be devastated that Kyrece has died at so young an age and in such tragic circumstances.
“Everyone’s thoughts are with his family and friends who can rely on our support as they begin to come to terms with his loss.”
Police recovered Kyrece’s body from the River Thames at about 8pm on Tuesday after he got in to trouble in the water at about 4.30pm.
Officers said the ‘tragic death’ is not being treated as suspicious.