TWO CAMPAIGNS have been launched to provide lasting legacies to Worcester student Tom Jones.
The first could see memorials installed at Worcester Univeristy, West Bromwich Albion FC, South Bromsgrove High School and Bromsgrove Sporting FC.
So far, more than £5,000 of a £6,000 target had been raised through a crowdfunding page dedicated to the tributes.
And an online Parliamentary petition had been set up to get the Sabrina footbridge in Worcester renamed ‘Jonah’s Bridge’.
That has already amassed close to 3,500 signatures.
Tom’s close friend, who set up the Find Jonah Facebook page during the search for him wrote: “The Sabrina Footbridge in Worcester is named after a Celtic goddess.
“Why not rename it to ‘Jonah’s Bridge’ after a legend that sadly lost his life by the bridge?”
On the JustGiving page Harley said: “A true legend was lost but the memory of him deserves to live forever.
“Tom touched the hearts of so many and we all want to remember him as the fun-loving and happy person he was.
“We want to construct memorials for Tom so everyone can remember him for as long as possible and he can live in all our hearts forever.”
Both drives were started on Monday, a day after more than 1,000 people gathered at the bridge to pay tribute to Tom.
At the gathering, flowers were laid, messages of condolence were left and the number of candles were described as ‘lighting up the whole city in his memory’.
Tom was a big Oasis fan and renditions of some of the band’s music were sung by the crowds who had gathered.
The event was organised by Harley.
Sainsbury’s Blackpole has donated £150 worth of flowers, 300 tealights were sent from Sainsbury’s Maypole and the Worcester and Bromsgrove Street Pastors were there to offer support at the event.
Harley thanked everyone who turned out and posted on the Find Jonah page: “It was a truly special evening that Jonah would’ve loved.
“I can’t thank you all enough for the support and happiness you all gave.
“I didn’t expect so many amazing people to come down but it was truly magical to be involved in.
“We lit up a city tonight, and Tom was smiling down on it. x”
A similar tribute event attended by more than 300 people was held on The Oakalls in Bromsgrove where Tom lived before he went to university.
Visit https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-rename-the-sabrina-bridge-in-worcester-to-jonah-s-bridge for the petition and https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Remember-Jonah for the crowdfunding page.
A body found on Friday in the River Severn has been formally identified as Tom and his death is currently being treated as ‘unexplained’. A post-mortem is ongoing.
Supt Damian Pettit said: “I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Thomas’ family.
“Over the course of the investigation, the support that they have received from friends and members of the public to help try and find Thomas has been greatly appreciated.
“I would also like to thank everyone who has shared our appeals, and those who have volunteered and dedicated their time to help.
“The sense of community has been overwhelming.
“Our officers and partners have also been working around the clock over the last couple of weeks, to try and provide answers as to Thomas’ whereabouts, and sadly this is not the outcome any of us hoped for.
“Specially trained officers are supporting Thomas’ family and I would ask that the media continue to respect their privacy at this time.”
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Thomas Jones at this unimaginably difficult time.
“The response from the public has been outstanding, and I’d like to thank all those came together to support and volunteer their time, showing Worcester’s true community spirit.
“I’d also like to thank the West Mercia Police officers and partners in other agencies including the Fire Service and West Mercia Search and Rescue who have worked tirelessly and professionally to support throughout.”