The distraught family of Birmingham teenager Justin Murphy, killed as he cycled home on the day schools broke up for summer, yesterday spoke of their devastation saying their lives would never be the same again.
Justin, aged 13, had left Cardinal Wiseman school in Kingstanding only moments before he became the victim of a hit and run, on July 21.
His bicycle was hit so hard in the collision at the junction of Firbeck Road and Leyton Grove that it split in half.
Mr and Mrs Murphy spoke last night of how their lives had been torn apart by the tragedy.
"There are so many things that I won't be able to do with him now, such as taking him for his first beer. That has been taken away from me," said Mr Murphy, also called Justin. "Life will never be the same and the family will never get over this."
In a prepared statement, the couple said: "Our one and only son was stolen away from us and his two sisters Marie and Chloe. It has torn our lives apart and we are absolutely devastated. When our son died a big part of our lives died with him."
Justin's parents described their son as a fun-loving lad who would do anything for anyone.
"He had many great attributes and was not frightened to show his emotions," they added. "Every time he greeted a member of the family he would hug and kiss them.
"He loved to entertain people and loved playing football and when he was older he wanted to be a footballer or a comedian. He was a huge fan of Manchester United and loved keeping fit, he would even do pull up exercises on the family swing in the garden.
"In 2001 his Uncle Larry took him away for the weekend to a holiday camp in Great Yarmouth and he joined in a kids talent competition. He was the last to perform, he danced and mimed to a Michael Jackson song and had all the audience clapping along with him. The audience gave him a standing ovation and of course he won."
Justin's mother, Teresa, said: "He was very protective of me, he would come up to me in the street and just put his arms around me and kiss me in front of his friends. He wasn't afraid of showing affection and no-one will under-stand how much I will miss that. I will never have my 'protector' again. He was so loving."
Darren Bardsley (32), of no fixed abode, appeared in Birmingham Crown Court on Monday charged with death by dangerous driving.