A RECORD-breaking 856 entries were received in a poetry completion set up in honour of a Wirral schoolboy who died in tragic circumstances.

The Chris Salmon Poetry Extravaganza takes place annually in memory of the poetry-loving youngster who was a student at Calday Grange Grammar School.

Chris died from a rare streptococcal infection in February 2009, aged just 15.

The competition winners will be announced at a prize-giving at Bromborough Civic Centre, on March 28, at 7pm.

A specially-invited audience including the Mayor of Wirral will be entertained with examples of poetry from entrants.

Mayor Mitchell said: “I am very pleased to be invited to such a special evening, which celebrates the life of a much-loved young person, and which gives others the chance to share in his love of poetry.

“I am looking forward to hearing some inspirational performances.

“After poetry, the fine use of words by our young people never fails to amaze me.”

The competition was ranged over three age groups, primary school, secondary school and adults.

Former member of the Scaffold, John Gorman, will announce the overall winner of the under-18 category, who will become Wirral’s Young Poet Laureate.

Winners from each age group will receive cash prizes and be invited to attend a workshop with renowned local poet Curtis Watt, who will also read one his poems on the night.