The parents of a gay teenager who died after being attacked in Merseyside have spoken about their loss.

18-year-old Michael Causer was set upon by three youths on Friday 25th July and suffered serious head injuries.

Despite surgery to try to reduce swelling on his brain, he died at 2:30pm on Saturday.

Marie and Michael Causer Senior said in a statement issued through Merseyside police:

“Mickey was very close to all members of his family and will be greatly missed by his Mum and Dad, brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces, and his grandparents.

“Mickey loved life and had many friends.

“He was popular and well liked.

“Mickey was the life and soul of the party, a happy, and outgoing eighteen-year-old man.

“Our world will never been the same without him”

Three men from the Huyton area have been charged in connection with the attack.

They appeared before Knowsley Magistrates Court where they were released on conditional bail and will reappear before Liverpool Crown Court on 12 August 2008.

A fourth man has been released on police bail while further enquiries are made.

The attack is being treated as a homophobic crime by police.

A Home Office post mortem will confirm the cause of the death after which the police said they will consult with the Crown Prosecution Service about the possible further charges.

The police said all those arrested in connection to the attack were known to Mr Causer and no one else is being sought. They released this statement yesterday:

“Michael and those charged with the offences against him and those currently on bail were known to each other and had been together in a house in Biglands Drive, Huyton during the course of Thursday evening and Friday morning.

“The initial assault upon Michael took place within this house.

“The incident was reported to police and ambulance at 11am on Friday 25 July 2008 when Michael was admitted to Whiston Hospital with serious head injuries.

“Contrary to speculation, I can confirm that this was not a random attack of a young gay man walking in Knowsley.”

3,270 people have joined a facebook group in memory of Michael Causer. One of the most recent messages was left by TV presenter Anthony Crank.

“RIP Michael. My sympathies to all that knew him and everyone shocked by this act of abhorrence,” he wrote.