Bench unveiled in memory of sporty teenager Ethan at one of his favourite Burnley beauty spots

Melanie Hunt and Chester the puppy on the memorial bench in honour of her son Ethan who died last year aged 16.
Melanie Hunt and Chester the puppy on the memorial bench in honour of her son Ethan who died last year aged 16.

A bench dedicated to a teenager, whose life was cut short after he contracted sepsis, has been unveiled at one of his favourite spots in his hometown of Burnley.

The metal bench is in honour of Ethan Hunt who was just 16 when he died in March last year.

A memorial bench has been unveiled in honour of Ethan Hunt,who died last year, at Rowley beauty spot in Burnley, one of his favourite cycling haunts.

A memorial bench has been unveiled in honour of Ethan Hunt,who died last year, at Rowley beauty spot in Burnley, one of his favourite cycling haunts.

A keen cyclist, Rowley beauty spot was one of Ethan's chosen haunts to ride and that is where the bench is sited overlooking the lake.

Fund raising for the bench was carried out by staff and students at Blessed Trinity RC College where Ethan had been in his final year studying for his GCSEs.

Burnley Council gave permission for the bench to be sited at the lakeside and it also has a plaque with his name on and the moving inscription: In the arms of the Angels he lives. Forever Young. Forever Loved. Forever Missed.

The bench has already been visited by many of Ethan's friends as a place to meet up, chat and remember him,

Ethan's bench looks out across the lake at Rowley

Ethan's bench looks out across the lake at Rowley

Ethan's mum, Melanie said: "Ethan was a real outdoors boy and I wanted something to reflect that.

"It is wonderful to see walkers come along and sit on the bench as it is in such a beautiful spot.

"I want the bench to be used and enjoyed by people."

Melanie is also hoping to festoon the bench with specially inscribed padlocks that cyclists can use if they want to secure their bikes.

Melanie's bike padlock with her own special inscription for Ethan

Melanie's bike padlock with her own special inscription for Ethan

The first one to be placed there will be from Melanie inscribed with the words 'love you lots and and jelly tots' which was the final text she sent her son.

Rather than it just be a static memorial, Melanie plans to leave a couple of children's books on the bench after being inspired by the recent Burnley Look for a Book project where youngsters across the town have been encouraged to hide and find books in local parks.

And to help the many dog walkers who frequent Rowley she is even going to place waste bags for them in case they run out.

Ethan died in Manchester's Wythenshaw Hospital in March last year a month after falling seriously ill.

Melanie along with Ethan's dad, Andrew and his older sister Jodie, kept a constant vigil at his bedside where doctors placed him in an induced coma after he contracted the deadly sepsis bug, a life threatening condition that flares up when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs.

Surgeons had to make the heartbreaking decision to amputate both of Ethan's legs as all the tissue had died.

The whole town was moved by the death of the bright, kind and sporty teenager who would spend hours riding all over Lancashire.

Ethan was a keen amateur photographer and had even set up his own photography website. Melanie is now considering using some of his pictures to make a calendar to help raise funds for charity.

Ethan also had two jobs, working a paper round and also in the executive lounge at Turf Moor, to save up for a new bike.

A Clarets fan, Ethan was also a big supporter of Manchester United and he had a passion for cars, especially sports cars. He was looking to pursue his dream to become a mechanical engineer working with Formula One cars.

Ethan would have made up 18 last month and his family celebrated his special day with a barbecue at their home in Brunshaw for all the family and friends who supported them them over the past year.

And they also welcomed a new addition to the family in the form of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy called Chester.

Melanie said: "We have three dogs already but Ethan always used to say they were family dogs and he wanted one of his own.

"So that's when I decided to get Chester. His name comes from Manchester United as Ethan was such a big fan.

"We were going to call him Fergie after Ethan's favourite manager but then I saw the Manchester bus one day and the last part of it struck a chord with me."