Mourners said a tearful goodbye to a little boy, who died on Christmas Eve, by wearing bright colours at his funeral this morning.
Well-wishers attended Alnwick’s St Paul’s Church to celebrate the life of Bailey Brown, 11, who passed away at his family home in Longhoughton on Wednesday, December 24.
His parents, Amy Millar and Gareth Brown, wanted to give their beloved son, who had cerebral palsy and was severely disabled, a special send-off. He was given just that.
The youngster arrived at the church in a glass carriage, which was pulled by two black Friesian horses and had followed a route around the town.
His superhero-themed coffin was surrounded by colourful flowers, including a commemoration which spelt out the words Bop Bop – the name by which he was affectionately known.
A touching message, which was written by his parents on one of the floral tributes and addressed to Bailey Brown (the boy with the infectious smile), read: ‘Our little soldier, our little boy who fought to be on this earth and battled on through until the last. You were our first born, our life, our everything. I wish there was a way you could let us know you are at peace. In our hearts we believe you are and that your little body just had enough. We hope you found your legs and you are living with the angels. Rest in peace.’
The service was led by Father Ian Hoskins. He described Bailey as a great fighter who loved his family, enjoyed holidays and brought joy to the lives of all he met.
The youngster, who was older brother to Roman, nine, and seven-month-old Freddie, was a pupil at Newcastle-based Northern Counties School and headteacher Judith James paid a poignant tribute to him.
During a touching reading, she said: “He was a little flirt. He had a special group of friends and people enjoyed his company. He enjoyed dressing up, messy play, stories and the rebound trampoline. He may not have had a long life, but he packed a lot into it. His life was full of fun, smiles and amazing experiences.”
She described Amy and Gareth as inspirational parents.
Godmother Gemma Short said that Bailey, who loved the sunshine, was the coolest dude she had ever met. Her reading was followed by the poem Look For Me In Rainbows, which was read by Carol Gibson, of St Paul’s congregation.
Bailey loved bright lights and colour and he will be remembered for his big smile and happy personality. The hymns which were sung during the service – Colours of Day and All Things Bright and Beautiful – were a fitting tribute to his character.
In an emotional end to the proceedings, Pharrell Williams’ Happy was played as Bailey’s Avengers-decorated coffin was being carried out of the church. The wake and a balloon release was held at Alnwick Rugby Club.
Hundreds of tributes have poured in since Bailey’s death. Among the many touching comments, the youngster has been described as gorgeous and a little angel.
His parents have thanked everyone for their support. Amy said: “Alnwick is such an amazing little town. At times like this, people just come together and people’s kind words and support have helped us through this and helped us to remember that we did give Bailey a good life.”