Aston Villa players John McGinn and Tyrone Mings pay respects at Babbs Mill Park

Aston Villa players John McGinn and Tyrone Mings pay their respects at Babbs Mill Credit: ITV News Central

England international Tyrone Mings has visited a memorial to three boys who died after falling through an icy lake at the weekend, saying "we feel that pain".

Mings and fellow Aston Villa player and club captain John McGinn arrived on Wednesday to look at the carpet of floral tributes next to Babbs Mill Park in Solihull - following the deaths of the boys aged eight, 10, and 11.

Emergency service descended on the beauty spot on Sunday after reports four children had been playing on the ice and fallen through into the lake.

They were rushed to two Birmingham hospitals; Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Heartlands Hospital, where they all arrived in critical conditions.

On Monday morning, West Midlands Police confirmed three boys aged eight, 10 and 11 had died. A fourth boy, who is six, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Scores of tributes have been left in Babbs Mill for the children and many across the community and the country have shared their condolences.

Now John McGinn and Tyrone Mings from Aston Villa have been down to the site to pay their own tributes to the children.

John McGinn and Tyrone Mings went to Babbs Mill to lay tributes Credit: ITV News Central

John McGinn said: "We were in Dubai when we heard the news and I thought of my nieces and nephews, and the players thought about their kids.

"It was certainly moving for us.

"We saw John Eustace come down yesterday and myself an Tyrone thought it would be great for us to pay our respects.

"I'm sure tomorrow night the friendly against Villarreal the Villa family will come together and pay our respects to what is a tragic event so close to home.

"Nothing can really sum up what the families are thinking what the communities are thinking but it just shows what a close knit community it is and hopefully in the future we never have to experience anything like this again."

News of the Villa players paying their respects at Babbs Mill comes after Birmingham City manager John Eustace was seen laying tribute at the site on behalf of all the players and staff.

Mings and McGinn spent a few moments in silence looking at the hundreds of tributes, cards, bouquets, children’s toys and balloons which have been laid at the foot of a tree next to Babbs Mill Park since tragedy unfolded in the nearby waters on Sunday.

Both players have been at the club’s mid-season training camp in Dubai before returning to the UK ahead of Thursday night’s home friendly against Spanish side Villareal.

Centre back Tyrone Mings also spoke about the impact the events have had and why he wanted to come down to the site.

He said: "It's just a really, really sad situation for everybody and we wanted to pay our respects.

Lots of people have been paying tribute Credit: ITV News Central

Mings adds: "I think it has touched everybody and has made everybody really come together and try and pay our respects as a football club, this was kind of on a personal level.

"We wanted to just how that we were also thinking of everybody involved and it seemed a small gesture for us to come down and pay our respects. We felt it was important to do so."

A press conference was held at the scene at Babbs Mill Park on Monday with the fire service and police.

Flowers and tributes to the ‘Babbs Mill Boys’. Credit: PA Images

West Midlands Fire Service area commander Richard Stanton said the deaths of three boys who fell into a frozen lake was a “stark reminder” of the dangers of open water.

“Yesterday’s incident is a stark reminder to us all of the dangers of open water, especially during the winter months.

“Frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can look picturesque but they can be lethal and there are no greater warnings of this than yesterday’s tragic events.

Police divers were still searching Babbs Mill Lake on Tuesday morning Credit: Jacob King/PA

“We would ask parents and carers to remind their children of the dangers of ice and why they must keep off it. Please help us to avoid this from happening again.”

Downing Street said the deaths of three children at a lake in Solihull were tragic but praised the response of the emergency services.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said: “Obviously this is devastating news for the family and friends of those who have died, this is a tragic incident.

“The Prime Minister’s thoughts are with them and obviously he passes his thanks to the emergency services who are continuing to work and provide support.”