BURTON teenager Kieran Jones was remembered with a touching service at the town hall yesterday which was attended by hundreds of people.
Kieran, 17, died suddenly on January 27.
The celebration of his life included songs, and emotional tributes from family and friends. His coffin – which bore the colours and emblem of his beloved Arsenal Football Club – was carried in to the service by his friends from de Ferrers Academy where he had been a pupil. The funeral cars were accompanied by police escorts.
Speaking at the service Pastor Remi Anekwe, Kieran’s uncle, said: “There has been a massive outpouring of love and tributes from everywhere.
“A police escort is something that doesn’t happen unless you are a dignitary – the young man was a dignitary!”
Alice Channer, from Kieran’s local church, New Testament Church of God, said: “He had a good head for business, unlike some of the youth of today who try to earn money from dishonesty and deception. Kieran was quite different.”
She said that it was one of the biggest funerals she had ever attended, which just went to show what kind of person he was.
His aunty, Maxine Jones, spoke on behalf on behalf of Kieran’s grandparents who said he had been growing up to be a lovely young man, who was much loved and would be missed.
Letters of condolence were also read out, which had been sent from the manager of Manchester City Football Club, Manuel Pellegrini, and Arsene Wenger, of Arsenal.
A performance of a song written for Kieran, called Kizza’s Song by band Through the Rain, saw people stand and applaud.
Friend Cameron Knowles told about Kieran’s infectious laugh. He said: “He could always make the best of a bad situation and would always look the most enthusiastic in lessons.
“Our friendship lasted from nursery to now and we were in each other’s lives every day. Words can’t explain how different things are.”
Christine Salmon, his godmother, spoke about Kieran’s love for football and tennis. She said at school he was very lively and was always making people laugh. In contrast, no one could get a word out of him at home.
Kieran had chosen his options for university and had dreams of moving to London to become an accountant.