Mural in memory of murdered schoolboy unveiled

A wall mural that includes a young schoolboy, a blue balloon shaped like a heart, a blue butterfly, a rainbow, and a red rose
Part of the mural is based on a piece of artwork Olly Stephens drew at primary school [BBC]

A mural painted in memory of a murdered 13-year-old schoolboy has been officially unveiled to the public.

Olly Stephens was found fatally stabbed after being ambushed in a park in Reading, Berkshire, in 2021.

Painted on a wall at his former school in Emmer Green, the scene includes a boy with a blue balloon.

His mother Amanda Stephens said it had been based on a picture taken of her son on his first day of primary school.

The mural was revealed at 11.30 BST on Saturday.

Created by artist Peachy, it was painted at Emmer Green Primary School over the summer half term, in the last week of May.

A photo of a smiling Olly Stephens
Olly was fatally wounded following a dispute on social media [BBC]

Mrs Stephens said: “One stencil is from a picture of his first day at school aged four and it’s just so amazing, he’s captured it so well, his eyes, his cheeks and smile.

“It clutches at your heart, it’s uncanny.”

Next to the stencil of Olly, who is holding a blue balloon, is a piece inspired by some artwork Olly made in his final year of primary school.


It includes the words "Music Moves You" and "You Can Do It With Music!".

“We found it in his drawers hidden with paints after he passed," Mrs Stephens said.

A large red rose and a rainbow also feature in the mural as a reflection of Olly's funeral, where roses were laid on his hearse and a rainbow appeared in the sky.

Olly was stabbed to death by two teenage boys in a field behind his house on 3 January 2021.

Following a dispute in a social media chat group, he was lured by a teenage girl to Bugs Bottom field, where he was then attacked.

The two boys were found guilty of murder, and the girl admitted manslaughter.

Olly's parents continue to campaign for controls on access to harmful online content for children.

Mrs Stephens thanked artist Peachy for the mural, describing his work as "wonderful".

“He’s so creative, the way he’s pulled it together is brilliant, the colour and vibrancy sums up Olly so well,” she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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