Tears and tributes at funeral of young Liverpool FC fan Luke Griffin
HUNDREDS of mourners attended the funeral of young footballer Luke Griffin to make sure he would “never walk alone.”
Many family and friends of Luke, 21, wore the bight red soccer shirts of his favourite team Liverpool at the ceremony at St Matthew’s in Cainscross today.
There were tears right from the start of the service as Luke, who played for local team Leonard Stanley FC, was borne shoulder high to the alter in a red and white coffin.
His player number 11 and the words of the famous football anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” were inscribed on the sides as the coffin arrived to the music of “Wonderwall” by Oasis.
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Luke, from Stroud, died in June during an end of season trip to Newquay with Leonard Stanley FC.
His body was found on a beach there early one morning and an inquest has still to be held to ascertain how he lost his life.
Builder Luke, also known by the surname Harrison, was accompanied in church by fellow Leonard Stanley FC players in full soccer kit.
Other worshippers were clothed in specially printed shirts with “RIP Luke” and “Griffin” on the shoulders.
Vicar the Rev Kathryn Fleming read a poetic tribute from Luke’s mother Joanne to her “wonderful son” during the highly personal farewell.
To have had Luke as her son was the “greatest gift of all”. He’d been a “special son I cannot replace” Joanne had written.
Tributes followed from Wayne Bown, Leonard Stanley’s first team manager, and from Luke’s aunt Debbie Harrison.
Luke always loved his football, said Mr Bown, who said he’d thought he’d had a future star on his hands in the talented young player.
“He was non-stop, determined, passionate and energetic,” said Mr Bown.
Luke, who’d been honoured as Leonard Stanley’s Young Player of the Year just before he died, was carried from church to a private cremation to the tune of Puff Daddy’s “Missing You.”