A 13-year-old boy who died following an accident while he was playing on a rope swing was named yesterday as Gary Ventura of Westwellbrae Crescent in Hamilton, writes Keith Sinclair.

Gary was playing on a self-made rope swing with a friend at a nature trail in Balmore Drive, Hamilton, just yards from his home, shortly before 8pm on Monday. The seat of the swing, which was suspended from a tree, snapped. He became entangled in the rope, lost his footing on the muddy ground and fell.

His friend raised the alarm and both boys' fathers were first to arrive at the scene. The men, helped by local residents, managed to free Gary from the rope.

Two police officers arrived a short time later and attempted to rescusitate him until the ambulance arrived.

Gary was taken to Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride but was found to be dead on arrival.

A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: ''The death of the young lad is a tragedy. When the rope broke he somehow became entangled in it and it was pulled tight round his neck. His young pal quickly ran for adult help and the alarm was raised. Police and ambulance crews tried in vain to resuscitate him.

''The little boy who was with Gary is overcome with grief.''

A family friend said last night: ''Everyone is just totally devastated about the accident. He was a lovely lad.''

Mr David Blair, the headmaster of Hamilton Grammar School, where Gary was a second year pupil, said: ''This is a real tragedy, Gary was full of life and was a very popular boy in the school. The thoughts of everyone at Hamilton Grammar are with his family at this tragic time.''

A report is to be sent to the procurator-fiscal.