THE family of drowned teenager Miracle Godson has spoken out about his death, calling for the closure of “the valley of death.”
The 13-year-old, of Marsh Green, died after swimming with friends in East Quarry, in Appley Bridge, on the afternoon of April 10.
Miracle’s close friend Exauce Mondo, 16, who was not present during the incident, but has since spoken to friends who were there, revealed the terrifying moment the tragedy occurred.
She said: “Even though he could not swim, he wanted to fit in with other people, especially as he was so popular at school.
“One of his friends had turned around and then he had jumped in. Three of his friends went in to save him.
“One grabbed Miracle’s leg but he was dragging him down. His other friend went underneath to lift him up but he couldn’t and Miracle pulled away.”
What does the owner do with that place? It continues to take lives. What benefit is a death trap for youngsters? It is a valley of deathGodson Anumba - Miracle’s father
Despite site owners, Mainsprint Ltd putting up warning signs and fencing, youngsters are still able to gain access, and Miracle’s dad, Godson Anumba, is demanding action is taken to prevent more tragic deaths.
He said: “We have a lot of questions surrounding that quarry. The police say that each year they have a water safety campaign, telling people not to go there, but still youngsters continue to go there.
“What does the owner do with that place? It continues to take lives. What benefit is a death trap for youngsters? It is a valley of death.
“I have not seen enough barricades to stop children getting in. There are so many ways in and out - no-one can man it.
“Why is the local authority or government not doing anything to stop people going near?
“I am bitter about the fact that so-called campaigns are not doing anything to stop youths going to that place.
“Children are vulnerable and they should not be allowed to swim in that place. It should be closed down or permanently blockaded.
“That place has a history of death. Why should we stand back and watch lives get lost there?”
Miracle’s parents, Godson and Elizabeth Anumba, who are originally from Nigeria, moved to Wigan in 2011 and by tradition used Mr Anumba’s first name - Godson - as surnames for their two children, Miracle and daughter Makuo, 16.
Speaking with great love and pride, Mr Anumba paid tribute to his son, who was “a man of many parts.”
He said: “Losing Miracle has devastated me because he is my only son. Miracle was loved by all. He was forthright and characterised by honesty.
“Miracle was amiable and bold. Miracle was love and he was quite infectious.
“He had always impacted on the life of anybody that came his way.
“He was a jovial character and lit up the atmosphere. Everyone that was around him was endeared to him.
Miracle, a St John Fisher High School pupil, who also attended Beech Hill Primary School, had a huge passion for sport, particularly rugby and as a member of St Jude’s ARLFC under 14s team, had earned himself a scholarship for Wigan Warriors under 14s.
Mr Anumba said: “Miracle played so well that everybody admired him.
He recently went for an interview with Warriors and he qualified for a scholarship. He would have taken that when he turned 14 on May 6.
“Anything he did was always the best. We are very proud of his achievements.”
Meanwhile, more fund-raising efforts are being made to fund Miracle’s funeral and to raise awareness of the campaign to secure the quarry.
Friends are holding a sponsored walk from Appley Bridge train station to the 13-year-old’s rugby club, St Jude’s, on the Saturday April 25, setting off at 1pm.
And bracelets have been made with Miracle’s name on them. For details on how to buy one, costing £2, visit Close Appley Bridge Quarry on Facebook.
A celebration of Miracle’s life will take place at Wigan Parish Church tomorrow, Wednesday at 6pm, followed by his funeral on Thursday April 23, at 1.30pm.
Before the funeral everyone is welcome to pay their respects to the youngster in church between noon and 12.45pm.
Family and friends are then invited to go to St Jude’s ARLFC, in Keats Avenue, Worsley Mesnes, afterwards.
To make a donation to costs, click here