Frank Varey, 16, looked to be on course for a glittering career in the world of sport (Picture:SWNS/PA)
A young boxer tipped to be a ‘future world champ’ drowned after jumping into a river despite not being able to swim.
Frank Varey, 16, lost his life as he tried to cross the River Dee in Chester during a heatwave last summer.
His body was found after a desperate search on July 22, prompting an outpouring of grief from the sport and his community.
Tyson Fury said Frank had been destined for great things in boxing in a tribute following his death.
Footage posted on social media shortly before the tragedy showed him and friends enjoying the weather by the water.
He can be heard saying ‘go on boys’ as the group took turns to jump into the water to cool off.
The tragedy came amid a spate of similar incidents during a spell of hot weather across the country, triggering public warnings about the danger of swimming in open water.
An inquest into his death, held at Warrington Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, heard Frank tried to swim across the river to friends.
The young boxer was part of England’s youth boxing programme and tipped for big things (Picture: England Boxing)
The hearing was told how he got into difficulty after making his way across most of the body of water, struggling and shouting for help as bystanders tried to save him.
The teenager was pulled under by a strong current and his body was recovered six hours later.
One of them had tried to grab Frank Varey, but the current ‘was too strong’, the inquest heard.
A post-mortem examination ruled out alcohol or drugs playing any part and he had no pre-existing injuries.
The 16-year-old was passionate about health and an inquest ruled out any involvement of alcohol or drugs in his death (Picture: PA)
His mum Sarah said he had shown ‘great promise’ who ‘lived and breathed boxing’ and was a health fanatic who had competed for his country.
She told the inquest her son had not had any formal swimming lessons, adding: ‘As a family, we are still trying to come to terms with Frank being taken away from us so young.’
Reaching a conclusion of accidental death, assistant coroner Jean Harkin said: ‘It’s clear that Frank Varey was a very talented young man.
‘He had a great skill for boxing and he never caused his parents any concern.’
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