First picture of boy, 3, who drowned in David Lloyd's swimming pool as family of Rocco Wright dispute club's account of tragedy

The toddler's parents have paid tribute to their "most amazing happy joyful boy", who died at the Leeds leisure centre after arriving for a swimming session on Saturday morning with his four-year-old sister.

Distraught dad Steven Wright said he pulled the toddler from the pool, not a member of staff as the club had said.

He and Catharine Wright have said the comments from the club's first statement were "simply incorrect".

They said they felt the club's claim that its staff "pulled him out of the water before carrying out CPR'' was wrong.

They also described how confusion over a swimming lesson had led to the tragedy, and strongly denied claims on social media that they had left their young children unattended while they were enjoying themselves in the sauna or gym.

He and other parents were told not all the children present could have their lesson.

Steven and other parents made enquiries of the other swimming instructor as to what was to happen, the statement said.

After they were told all the children could not be accommodated by the instructors present, Steven said he resolved to take both children swimming himself.

He said: "It was at this point I decided I would forget the lesson and just swim with both my children only to realise I couldn't see Rocco.

"I checked round the poolside thinking he would be hiding but devastatingly he wasn't.

"I found him at the far end of pool face down at the bottom. I dived in and got him out onto the poolside and screamed for help.

"It was only at this point the lifeguard came over and tried to help.

"It was upsetting for David Lloyd to claim a member of staff had 'rescued' him from the pool when that was not even close to what had happened.

"It was myself that found him and retrieved him from the water.''

Emergency services were called shortly before 9.45am to the club. Ambulance crews rushed the toddler to Leeds General Infirmary, where he was later pronounced dead.

Steven described Rocco as a boy who "truly loved life" and how his family will be left "with a void forever that can never be filled".

He added: "By making this statement we're not trying to place blame, we just want the facts to be reported accurately.

"We are all totally devastated by the loss of the most amazing happy joyful boy you could ever wish to meet.

"RIP buddy, we'll love you forever.''

In a statement issued on Monday, a spokeswoman for David Lloyd said: "All of our team at the club are deeply shocked and our thoughts are very much with the boy’s family at this sad time.

"We are working closely with the relevant local authorities and have launched a full investigation into this tragic incident."

Detective Inspector James Entwistle of West Yorkshire Police said they are treating Rocco's death as an accident, but are continuing to investigate the circumstances around his death.

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