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Home ยป The Bright And Brilliant Athletes Killed In Nottingham

The Bright And Brilliant Athletes Killed In Nottingham

Image caption, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley Kumar were killed in the attacks in Nottingham

By Elizabeth Joyce

BBC News

Grace O’Malley Kumar and Barnaby Webber were two talented young athletes who lost their lives in the horror and chaos of the Nottingham attacks.

Nineteen-year-old Grace was a member of the England U16 and U18 hockey squads, as well as playing for Southgate Hockey Club and Woodford Wells Cricket Club in London. Her team-mates said she was “fun, friendly and brilliant”.

Barnaby, also 19, was a “key member” of Bishops Hull Cricket Club and had been selected for his university team. His family said he was a “beautiful, brilliant, bright young man”.

Tributes have been pouring in for the University of Nottingham students.

Image source, Family Handout

Image caption, Barnaby Webber’s family said they were “enormously proud” of his achievements

Barnaby was from Taunton, Somerset. His parents David and Emma Webber and younger brother Charlie said he was “at the start of his journey into adulthood and was developing into a wonderful young man”.

“Complete devastation is not enough to describe our pain and loss at the senseless murder of our son,” they said.

“Barnaby Philip John Webber was a beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to.

“A talented and passionate cricketer, who was over the moon to have made selection to his university cricket team.

“As parents we are enormously proud of everything he achieved and all the plans he had made.

“His brother is bereft beyond belief, and at this time we ask for privacy as a family to be allowed time to process and grieve.”

Ex-England cricket captain Michael Vaughan also paid tribute to Barnaby, saying he was a “young cricketer gone far too soon”.

Taunton-based Bishops Hull Cricket Club have asked people to lay flowers and pay their respects to their “dear friend” at the ground.

‘Kind and engaging’

Barnaby was a former Taunton School pupil.

Staff and students there said they had been “heartbroken by the recent, tragic news”

“Barnaby joined us in the nursery and studied here all the way through to the end of the sixth form, leaving just last year,” the school said.

“In his long association with the school, he touched the lives of many staff, pupils and parents and his loss will be very difficult to come to terms with. He was a much-loved, kind and engaging character.

“That a young man of such promise should lose his life in these circumstances is utterly devastating.

“We send our love and deepest condolences to his family. We continue to do all we can to support them and all in our community affected by these events.

“When the time comes, we will find a fitting way in which to remember Barnaby and his special contribution to our school.”

Image source, Southgate Hockey Club

Image caption, “Fun, friendly and brilliant” Grace O’Malley Kumar for Southgate Hockey Club

Grace was a pupil at Bancroft’s School in north-east London before heading to university.

The school said: “We are desperately shocked and saddened by Grace’s sudden death in these truly terrible circumstances.

“She left Bancroft’s only last year and was a hugely important part of our community.”

Grace was “an immensely gifted and dedicated scholar and sportswoman” who excelled in cricket and hockey.

England Hockey said it was “deeply saddened” by her death, while Southgate Hockey Club described her as a “huge talent and much-loved member” of the U18s and W1s.

The London-based team tweeted: “We are shocked and devastated by the news, our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Grace’s family, friends and teammates.”

‘Highly talented’

Woodford Wells Cricket Club in London described her as “fun, friendly and brilliant”.

The club said she was a former Wells Baby Belles captain, adding she was a “fiercely competitive, talented and dedicated cricketer and hockey player”.

Essex Cricket said Grace played for the county side between 2015-2019.

She captained the team during her time at the club and was said to be “highly talented with the bat and ball”.

She was “a respected captain and awesome team-mate”, Essex Women added.

Image source, Essex Cricket

Image caption, Essex Women said Grace was “a massive talent while part of our junior programme”

A minute of silence was observed by cricketers in Chelmsford earlier ahead of the County Championship match between Essex and Somerset.

The flag at the ground has been lowered to half mast and players are wearing black armbands in memory of Barnaby and Grace.

Ian Coates, who was in his 50s, was also killed in the knife and van attacks that happened in Nottingham in the early hours of Tuesday.

Nottinghamshire Police said a 31-year-old man was Tasered and arrested on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody.

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