Community rallies to support family of Spencer Walker

Tributes left for 12 years old Spencer Walker fill the railway foot bridge off Beamont Avenue, South Elmsall. (AB352a1016)
Tributes left for 12 years old Spencer Walker fill the railway foot bridge off Beamont Avenue, South Elmsall. (AB352a1016)

The family of a boy who died after suffering electrical burns from a railway line have thanked the community for their love and support.

Spencer Walker, 12, was seriously injured on tracks in South Elmsall last Monday and died in hospital two days later.

In an emotional letter to Minsthorpe Community College, where Spencer was a pupil, his family said an outpouring of love had helped them through their grief. They wrote: “The love, caring and support the family has received has been truly overwhelming.

“When the devastating incident occurred, all the family descended in to a dark place, full of unbelievable grief and sadness from which there seemed no escape. But through the darkness shone a light, which was the love and support shown by Spencer’s friends and the community.

“It seems virtually in minutes of the awful accident occurring his friends were showing their love and support. Unfortunately our prayers for Spencer were unanswered and he left us all for another place.”

They thanked the school and its young people for their ongoing support, adding: “Please keep a place in your hearts for Spencer.”

Dozens of floral tributes and messages have been left in memory of Spencer on a railway bridge at the bottom of Beaumont Avenue, close to where the schoolboy was hurt.

His family said: “We have visited this place numerous times and the many tributes to Spencer have been stunning, every one of them.”

Minsthorpe Community College opened a memory book to give to Spencer’s family, in which staff and students have paid their respects.

As The Express went to print, the school was also preparing to stage a memorial balloon release yesterday evening.

Principal Ray Henshaw said: “You only have to look at the memory book that we opened for Spencer to see how he was loved by so many others and how keenly his loss has been felt. The sentiments expressed by students and staff show how much he meant to them and we mourn his passing.

“Spencer was a very popular student in Year 8 and his engaging personality touched the lives of both students and staff. He was fun, energetic and liked by many of his peers. He had a fantastic personality and was full of promise.

“His death has torn the heart out of his year group and it is a measure of his life, and what he meant to others, that his death has had such an impact on so many people.”

British Transport Police said its officers were called to the railway at around 6.15pm last Monday, following reports of a boy on the line.

It said enquiries are on-going to establish how he came to be on the tracks but his death is not being treated as suspicious.

A file will now be prepared for the coroner.