A Catholic school has paid tribute to a former pupil who was killed in the Birmingham knife attacks at the weekend.
Jacob Billington was fatally stabbed in Irving Street at about 1.52am on Sunday 6th September, while out with old school friends from Liverpool, who were visiting the city, West Midlands Police said.
Mr Billington, from Crosby, Merseyside, had been in the city with friends to celebrate with one of their number who was studying in Birmingham.
The 23-year-old had been working as a library intern at Sheffield Hallam University, after graduating there, and was also a drummer in a band.
One of his friends Michael Callaghan, also 23 and a fellow band-mate, was seriously injured in the attack.
Both men had previously attended Sacred Heart Catholic College in Crosby, where prayers were said for their families.
In a statement the school said: “We are saddened at the events in Birmingham which took Jacob’s life and left Michael critically injured.”
It added: “We are praying for Michael’s recovery and will never forget Jacob, his life touched so many in our school.”
Mr Billington’s devastated family paid tribute to him as the “light of our life”, in a statement issued through police.
The force declared a major incident in Birmingham during the early hours of Sunday, after eight people were stabbed during a rampage in the city centre spanning some 90 minutes
Three people remain in hospital with critical injuries, including a man who was stabbed in Livery Street at 12.40am, and a woman who was knifed in Hurst Street.
Four others, three men and a woman, were also injured in the attacks, which began with a stabbing on Constitution Hill north of the city centre, at about 12.30am, and ended with incidents in Hurst Street at about 2am.
Following the incident, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, joined the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart, in praying for the victims, their families, friends and those in the emergency services who responded to the attacks.
“Our thoughts and the thoughts and prayers of many people are with those who have died or been seriously injured overnight in the city of Birmingham,” the Church leaders said in a joint statement.
“We pray also for their families and friends – and for the emergency services and for all that they are called to do in response to these shocking events.”
The Church leaders added: “At this time when the health and well-being of the people of our city is already uppermost in our minds, we pray that all who live and work in Birmingham and those who visit can be reassured about the safety of our popular city.
“Birmingham is a great city and it is shaped by many diverse communities working together and overcoming challenges and differences. We cherish and pray for its peace today.”
Picture: Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Jacob Billington. (West Midlands Police).