A family picture of Reece Hornibrook.

The family of a teenager who died following a fight in South Lynn have paid tribute to their “hero,” saying he had a heart of gold.

Reece Hornibrook, of King’s Lynn, suffered serious head injuries in an alleged assault in the early hours of Sunday.

The 17-year-old, a student at the College of West Anglia, died in the town’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Tuesday just days after finishing the first year of his construction course.

His family issued a statement through the police saying: “He was a gentle giant, always laughing and joking and would do anything for anyone. 

“We will remember him as having a huge heart. He was popular and he was our hero.”

Balloons, flowers and messages of sympathy have been left for Reece at the parkour park at The Walks in Lynn.

One message, written on a balloon, said: “Fly high man, we love and miss you,” and another said: “Love you”. 

A picture of Reece can also be seen on one of the tributes.

The scene in South Lynn on Sunday. Picture: Paul Tibbs

The teenager, who was a level one  construction student at the college in Lynn, was a former pupil at the town’s King Edward VII Academy.

A spokesman for the school said: “Reece attended King Edward VII Academy for two years, completing his GCSEs last summer. He was well thought of by staff and students alike. 

“We are all obviously shocked and saddened by this tragic news. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family during this difficult time.”

Police were called to Saddlebow Road in South Lynn at around 3.30am last Sunday to reports of several people fighting. Reece suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Lynn’s QEH in a critical condition. The road was cordoned-off while police forensic officers worked at the scene.

Liam Russell, 31, of Metcalf Avenue, has been  charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Following the teenager’s death, a police spokesman said: “The current charge will be subject to review pending the results of a Home Office post mortem examination, which will be held in due course.”

Mr Russell appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and the case was sent to Norwich Crown Court for Wednesday, August 7. A bail application is expected to be made before the crown court today (Friday).

A 30-year-old woman arrested in connection with the incident has been released on bail.

Police have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information is asked to call 101.

Flowers and balloons left for Reece in The Walks. Picture: Paul Tibbs