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A rising boxing star has lost his life too soon.
Frank Varey, a teenage boxer and multiple National Championship title holder, has passed away, England Boxing confirmed on Friday, July 23. The British athlete was 16 years old. Varey reportedly died on Thursday, July 22 of an apparent accidental drowning after swimming with friends in a river in Wales, according to TMZ. Citing law enforcement, TMZ reported his body was eventually found in the water.
"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."
Beyond the ring, Jenkins described Varey as "a very popular character with his fellow boxers and those who coached him, bringing a sense of fun to everything he did."
"He will leave a huge gap," Jenkins concluded, "in people's lives."
Coach John Stubbs reflected on the loss, tweeting, "Frank The Tank!!! 16 No age for a boy to lose his life! Sad day for the boxing Community!!"
Varey's passing has not gone unnoticed by figures at the highest level of the sport, including Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell. "RIP Frank Varey," he tweeted. "Rest well champ, thoughts with all your friends and family."
Online, fans have taken notice of the late star's Instagram bio, which reads in part, "YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE."
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