MELANIE and Steve Jones, the parents of murdered Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones, have launched work on a community and sports centre in his memory.
The 11-year-old was gunned down five years ago as he walked to football practice near his Croxteth home.
Melanie and Stephen Jones dug up the first piece of turf for the Rhys Jones Community Centre on Saturday.
The £500,000 project will see the creation of all-weather pitches and changing rooms for use by up to 13 local teams.
There will also be a pavilion built to provide a safe place for children and young people to meet and play.
Standing alongside her husband, Mrs Jones said it was an emotional day for the couple.
She said: "I’m absolutely excited that we have actually got the go-ahead for the centre and the football pitches.
"It’s been a long time coming but it’s an amazing day today.
"This place is going to be a lasting tribute to Rhys and it’s something that all the kids in the area will make use of and I’m sure they will all be delighted when it’s finished."
The centre, off Langley Road, Croxteth, will be built next to football pitches where Everton FC fan Rhys used to play the game with his friends.