THE heartbroken family of much-loved Reece Tansey gathered at the weekend to celebrate what would have been his 16th birthday.

Reece tragically died aged just 15 after being fatally stabbed in Great Lever on May 4.

The Harper Green schoolboy would have turned 16 on Sunday.

Dad Ian Nice, who has been left devastated by the loss of his son, said: “Reece loved his birthdays.

“A 16th birthday is special, it is when you become a man.

“I miss him so much and it was very important for me to mark my son’s 16th birthday, it was a celebration of his life.

The Bolton News: Reece TanseyReece Tansey

The emotional celebration took place on Sunday.

Mr Nice, aged 45, said: “We had lanterns, balloons, fireworks and a barbecue.

“His aunties, uncles, his family were there. We held the celebration at my house and my mum’s house.

“We paid tribute to Reece, he was so well-loved and so popular. He would have loved the celebration of his birthday. Reece would have been proud of it.”

To mark the special birthday photographs of Reece were put on a DVD.

Mr Nice, who lives in Kearsley, said: “The DVD showed Reece from when he was born.

“Everyone who has seen it has cried, it was a tribute to Reece’s life.

“I want to keep my son’s memory to live on in Bolton and in everyone’s life, and for him never to be forgotten.”

The Bolton News: Balloons for Reece Tansey's 16th birthdayBalloons for Reece Tansey's 16th birthday

Tributes to Reece flooded in after his death. Flowers and balloons with messages to Reece later appeared outside a house in Newport Street, Great Lever, where a police cordon had been in place for two days.

n Two boys accused of murdering Reece will stand trial at Manchester Crown Court next month.