Published: 00:01, 03 June 2014 |
Updated: 09:16, 04 June 2014
Hundreds of people gathered today to say an emotional farewell to brave Whitstable youngster Reece Puddington, who gained global support during his cancer battle.
The inspirational 11-year-old won hearts and mind across the world throughout his six-year cancer fight through his popular Facebook blog.
His funeral took place today, with the cortege leaving his home in Freeman's Close, where he died on Tuesday, May 20.
The town centre procession then travelled up Joy Lane, before passing through the town centre to Sea Street and back down Harbour Street, and pausing outside The Peter Cushing pub in Oxford Street.
Hundreds of mourners waited outside the pub while the procession stopped breaking into applause as it continued to the church.
Reece's parents Kay and Paul said everyone was invited to attend the service at Seasalter Christian Centre before a private family burial at St Alphege Church.
A celebration of Reece's life was then held at the Catholic Club in Clarence Road, Herne Bay.
The family urged supporters to wear red or blue, which were Reece's favourite colours.
Parts of the the day were geared towards Reece's favourite things.
A huge floral tribute was in the shape of a cooked breakfast, one of the youngster's favourite things.
And his coffin was beautifully decorated with an image of Jack Sparrow - the star of the Pirates of the Caribbean films - which were some of Reece's films.
The star of the show - or certainly a lookalike - even turned up for the funeral.
A book of condolence was opened at the church for people to leave their own messages.
Reverend Steve Coneys performed the service and started by thanking everyone for their support towards Reece and his family.
Video: The funeral cortege leaves his home
As emotions ran high churchgoers placed carnations in memory of Reece with close friends and family lighting candles including schoolfriends at Swalecliffe primary school.
A family eulogy read out by friend Liz Crudgington praised the youngster for fighting cancer with courage for most of his life.
She read: "In May 2008 our world changed forever. You never complained or felt sorry for yourself you fought your battle with courage, dignity and humour.
"It didn't stop the things you love to do. You fought it your way."
At the time of his death, Reece set up a fundraising venture called Reece's Retreat to raise funds for a beach hut along West Beach to provide seriously ill children with a day by the sea.
Donations can be sent via Beltinge and District Funeral Service, 132, Reculver Road, Beltinge, Herne Bay, CT6 6PL with cheques payable to Raise 4 Reece.
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