Oliver was born in Liverpool Women’s Hospital on 21st January 1999. It was the best day of our lives and the start of us becoming a family. Oliver had all the qualities you could wish for in a child, and more besides. He was a happy, inquisitive toddler with an uncompromising zest for life.

We were so proud when Oliver started school. He looked so smart in his school uniform. Right from the start he was popular with both the boys and girls alike. When Oliver was in year 2, the children could vote for who they wanted to be their representative at school council. Oliver’s teacher told me “I knew it would be Oliver – I just didn’t realise by how much!” Virtually every child in the class had voted for him!

As we have mentioned, Oliver was also extremely popular with the girls! We were forever finding little notes and pictures in his bag. We remember one incident in particular, when Mum went to pick him up from school. He came running over to show her the pound that one of the girls had given him. When Mum explained that perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to accept money from girls, he told her not to worry as he had asked her for a can of coke and a packet of crisps instead tomorrow!

Oliver also excelled at all sport. What makes his death so much harder to accept is the fact that he was such a fantastic athlete, proven time and time again with his endless sports. What stands out is the bleep test. Oliver out ran every adult and child, to get one of the highest scores in the city and astound the sports link organisers. Oliver was a keen member of the hockey, athletics, cricket and tag rugby teams. He was a sportsman at heart and a natural at whatever he turned his hand to. His biggest passion though was of course football! Our Ollie was a winner both on and off the pitch! From his winning smile to his sense of fair play which, perhaps, deserted him when Everton were playing! Oliver represented his school football team on many occasions. One particularly memorable occasion was when, against her better judgement, his teacher agreed to let him play with a broken arm! He was the man of the match that day! Oliver also got to play on his beloved Goodison Park along with his team mates, winning the city finals there. Oliver played for Woolton Diamonds and his West Pool Team where his achievements were endless. One of our proudest moments as parents was when Oliver was chosen to represent Liverpool Schoolboys under 10’s on their trip to Amsterdam and he was voted ‘player of the tournament’

Oliver was a wonderful big brother to our other son Ben. They were very close and shared lots of laughter and mischief together. Oliver would always include his brother whenever possible. Ben tells us that they shared a secret language which caused them huge amounts of laughter at our expense.

Our name for Oliver was “Mr Special” and no one who attended his funeral could doubt this. The love, the accolades, the friendship and the joy of knowing him was all enveloping. Family was everything to Oliver and Oliver and Ben are everything to us. What we lost that day is immeasurable. We have had to endure the unendurable. Don’t let Oliver’s death be in vain!

Joanne & Mark King

Mother and Father, Oliver & Ben King