Frank Varey, a rising boxing star from Great Britain, died on Thursday of an apparent drowning, England Boxing confirmed. He was 16 years old. Varey was swimming with his friends at a river in the Northwest region of England. His body was found around 11 p.m. local time on Thursday, hours after he had been reported missing, according to the Manchester Evening News.
"England Boxing has been devastated to hear the news of Frank's death, with our coaches, in particular, having got to know him very well during his boxing development," England Boxing CEO Gethin Jenkins said in a statement. "He was a very talented boxer, multiple National Champion and a member of our England set-up and Talent Pathway, proudly representing his country in the 2019 Euros. Although young, he had clearly demonstrated much promise."
We are saddened to hear the news about 5x National Champion and 6x international Champion Frank Varey RIP champ our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this horrible time 🙏 pic.twitter.com/enfeWZc9vv— @travellerboxersTBTV (@travellerboxers) July 22, 2021
Tyson Fury, boxing world heavyweight champion, also reacted to the news of Varey's death. He said: "RIP Frank. Was a future world champ." According to the Daily Post, officials searched for seven hours before discovering the body. Varey posted on his Instagram story on Thursday afternoon tagging him set at "Chester Riverfront." There is also footage that shows him and a few of his friends seen diving into the river.
"Frank was a larger than life character. I've never met anyone that could lose a hotel key 27 times in the first two days of the trip, or anyone with the pre-bout ritual he had," England Talent coach John Stubbs said. "No boy should lose their life at 16. This is a sad day for the boxing community and my thoughts are with big Frank and the family."
HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES 🥊
England Boxing would like to send its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Sharpstyle ABC and @EBBoxingSquads boxer Frank Varey, who has sadly died, aged just 16.
May you rest in peace, Frank 🙏July 23, 2021
"Absolutely heartbroken even writing this. The absolute bundle of life Frank Varey taken from us," England Talent coach Shiney Singh added. "Only yesterday he was in the gym looking a million dollars and there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to smash the Euro selections. He was the life of the gym and lit up the room."