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19th Jan, 2022

Circle of trees in Shirley are permanent memorial for Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Sarah Mason 16th Dec, 2021

A CIRCLE of trees has been planted in Shirley as a permanent memorial to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

The six-tree tribute has been created near the home on Cranmore Road where he was poisoned, abused and killed by his step-mother, Emma Tustin, and father, Thomas Hughes.

Following the wave of flowers, balloons and teddy bears left for Arthur, Samantha Chapman and a group of other Shirley residents wanted to do more in memory of the young Birmingham City Football Club fan.

They approached Solihull Council for permission to plant the six 4ft trees – one for each year of Arthur’s life – on the community green near Tustin’s house.

They also put up and decorated a 12ft Christmas tree on Saturday at a memorial day they organised for Arthur.

Samantha said: “We wanted to do something for Arthur and following the balloon release the weekend previously we wanted to do something different.

“The six trees are permanent and the Christmas tree will be removed in the new year to make way for a plaque.

“We are hoping Solihull Council will work with us to install some lights in the ground which will light up the trees to remember Arthur.”

Residents turned out to decorate the tree with tinsel and one even gave a hand-engraved crystal bauble which had been passed through a number of generations.

Samantha said the team was hoping to donate it to the family once the tree has been taken down.

She added: “I didn’t know Arthur – I am just a member of the community who was touched by what happened to him.

“The local community wanted to show how much he was loved, I am sure if any of us had known what was happening behind closed doors there would have been 100,000 people lining up to help him.”

Arthur was also remembered as around 1,000 Birmingham City fans walked to St Andrews chanting ‘We love you Arthur, we do’ along the one-and-a-half mile route.

A charity auction has also been arranged at Strawberry Fields Wine Bar on Stratford Road at 7.30pm this Saturday, December 18.

There are a number of items on offer including a signed Birmingham City Football shirt and vouchers for local bars and restaurants.

All proceeds will be donated to Childline in Arthur’s name.

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