Police honour hero who tried to save tragic boy

South Yorkshire Police supplied collect picture of eight-year-old Matthew Cartwright, who died on Tuesday 30 August after falling into the Swinton canal. (Note: the family has asked the media to use picture in their articles. It is Matthew's school photo when he was 6-years-old.)
South Yorkshire Police supplied collect picture of eight-year-old Matthew Cartwright, who died on Tuesday 30 August after falling into the Swinton canal. (Note: the family has asked the media to use picture in their articles. It is Matthew's school photo when he was 6-years-old.)
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A HAVE-A-GO hero who tried to rescue a South Yorkshire schoolboy who fell into a freezing canal has been rewarded for his bravery by police.

Reza Abdollazadh, from Hyde Park, Sheffield, was helping at his cousin’s takeaway shop on Bridge Street, Swinton, when he heard a young boy had fallen into a nearby canal.

While waiting for the emergency services to arrive, Reza removed some of his clothing and jumped into the water to try to save the child, eight-year-old Matthew Cartwright.

He searched frantically under the water. However, despite several attempts, he was unable to find Matthew.

Emergency services pulled the youngster from the canal and tried to resuscitate him, but Matthew, from Mexborough, later died in hospital.

Reza sustained cuts and grazes to his arms and legs in the rescue attempt and was helped by police officers at the scene.

He has now been presented with a certificate of commendation by South Yorkshire Police Authority to recognise his bravery.

After receiving the award from authority chairman Charles Perryman and temporary chief constable Bob Dyson, of South Yorkshire Police, Reza said: “The presentation was very touching. It makes me happy to see what I did get acknowledged.”

Mr Perryman described Reza’s actions as a ‘selfless act of bravery’.

He said: “The water was so cold it became debilitating, while the canal was dense with brambles and weeds, but Reza did everything he could to try and find the little boy.

“It’s important we recognise people like Reza who are ordinary members of the public who go to extraordinary lengths and make our society a better place.”