Tributes to St Leonards schoolboy Harley at Bexhill memorial service

The family of a popular 11-year-old schoolboy from St Leonards who died following a road collision paid tribute to him at a memorial service in Bexhill.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 12:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:40 am
Harley Simpson

Harley Simpson, of Bulverhythe Road, died on November 4 after the incident, which happened on October 22.

A silver Renault Espace travelling westbound collided with a central crossing bollard close to the junction with Bulverhythe Road.

The vehicle collided with Harley, who was waiting to cross the road.

Harley’s memorial service took place at St Michael’s Church in Bexhill on Monday (November 28).

His mum, Jo Barradine and dad, Gary Simpson, said their son was an ‘energetic lad full of mischief’ who had an ‘infectious smile’.

They said: “Harley loved life. He had an endearing tender nature in his concern for others. A true helper at heart he loved nothing more than to lend a hand but was always modest in his acceptance of praise.

“Harley was and will always remain a cherished member of the Bulverhythe community. He loved to be a good neighbour and with a beaming smile would chat with anyone. Harley enjoyed nothing more than to play around Bulverhythe, Cliftonville or on the field with his friends. Whether this be on his bike, throwing a rugby ball, kicking a football or dragging his basketball net half way around the neighbourhood for to all the kids to have a go.”

Harley, who attended Pebsham Primary Academy before going to The St Leonards Academy, played for Hastings & Bexhill RFC’s under-12 squad.

His parents added: “Harley’s love of sport was evident throughout his life. He was a fierce competitor, even on school sports days. He became a keen and successful badminton player, being awarded the most improved player and helping his school team to win the Primary League. More recently Harley developed a strong connection to rugby.

“We would like to pass our sincerest gratitude to everyone who attended Harley’s celebration of life on Monday. The support and heartfelt love was unconditional.”

Following the collision in October, a 69-year-old man from St Leonards was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs. He has been bailed until December 21 pending further enquiries.

Any witnesses should call Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Neutral.

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