Hundreds pay respect to 12-year-old Ava White at vigil held in her memory

·3 min read

Hundreds of people have turned out to pay their respects to 12-year-old Ava White at a vigil held in her memory.

Ava was fatally stabbed in the city centre on November 25 after a Christmas lights switch-on.

On Saturday, family, friends and others gathered in Church Street, close to where the incident happened, to pay tribute to her.

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The crowd signs You’ll Never Walk Alone (Danny Lawson/PA)

Hundreds of balloons, some in the shape of the letter A, were released at the start of the vigil.

Many people wore hoodies with Ava’s face on and others had her name written on their faces.

The Radio City tower was lit up blue in memory of the Year 8 Notre Dame Catholic College pupil.

Imagine by John Lennon was performed by Astrid Smith as hundreds held up glowsticks and phones to light up the city centre in Ava’s memory.

You’ll Never Walk Alone was played as was music including Hero by Mariah Carey and Where Is The Love by the Black Eyed Peas.

A number of the crowd were in tears during the vigil.

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12-year-old Astrid Smith sings during the vigil (Danny LAwson/PA)

Organiser of the event Anthony Goudie said: “The whole city now has come together to support this vigil, it’s absolutely outstanding.”

He read a message on behalf of Ava’s cousin, which said: “I do wish that we could make more memories as we grow together but it is my time to make you as proud as we all are of you.

“I want to make you the proudest person ever.

“I love and I miss you so much, baby girl.

“It was too early for you but everything happens for a reason.”

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People take part in a vigil in Liverpool city centre for 12-year-old Ava White (Danny Lawson/PA)

Cllr Anna Rothery addressed the vigil and said: “No family should ever have to go through this, but we have to take something from this.

“All these children here tonight who have turned out, you are our future, you deserve to go about your daily life knowing that you are going to be safe in this city.”

She called for the Government, council, police and other agencies to work together to eradicate knife crime.

She said: “Our children deserve better.”

On Friday, a statement on the Facebook page of vigil organisers A&E Entertainment said: “Tomorrow we will all come together as one, standing up against knife crime and standing strong for the family of a beautiful life lost.

“We stand together as we light Liverpool up for a beautiful little soul Ava White.”

On Friday, Ava’s father, Robert Martin, paid tribute, saying her family has been left “completely devastated and heartbroken”.

Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after the attack at about 8.30pm but later died from “catastrophic injuries”, police said.

A 14-year-old boy appeared in court earlier this week charged with her murder.

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