TEENAGER Ashley McKinnon was remembered by family and friends at a funeral service dedicated to his life in Rodbourne Cheney yesterday.
Ashley, 17, fell from the top floor of the Wyvern Car Park on the evening of Thursday, February 13.
His funeral yesterday drew in hundreds of mourners, many of whom were also teenagers.
St Mary’s Church in Akers Way hosted the service, which began with the Bruno Mars song Talking To The Moon, as the coffin was carried in, adorned with yellow flowers spelling out Ash.
Reverend Nick Lines, rector at St Mary’s, conducted the ceremony and began with a few words before moving onto the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.
The tributes then followed, with Atlanta Holmes, Ashley’s 16-year-old girlfriend, unable to take the stand and read her words to the public.
Reading on her behalf, Rev Lines said: “I wish I could do more for you, but I do hope you realised how I did try to help you. I’m a mess.
“I’m sorry for not being strong enough for you to be proud of me. You are, and always will be, my best friend, my rock, my soul mate, my first love and my life.
“You always said you loved me more, but you know what? Sorry, you didn’t. I honestly can’t live without you, but I’ve got to. It’s hard, babe, really hard.
“When you smiled and told me you loved me, my whole world stopped for a minute. I got butterflies. I miss that feeling, babe.
“I miss so many stupid, little things I didn’t notice until you had gone. I miss the way you used to kiss my hand like a true gentleman; I miss the sound of your heart against my head.
“We will meet again, baby, and I hope it’s sooner than later, I really do.”
Sarah Day, a close friend of Ashley’s family, said: “His mother and his sister were the most important people in his life.
“Yes, he went to a hostel, but that enabled Ashley to have a new relationship with his mum. He knew where we all were when he wanted us.
“He lived life as he wanted to live it; no-one was going to stop him.
“I am proud that I knew Ashley. Everyone here has memories of him and they should keep those in their mind and carry them through life.”
There followed a reflection on the Ashley’s life while Will Smith’s version of Just The Two Of Us played out.
After prayers and The Lord’s Prayer, Rev Lines delivered some thoughts from Ashley’s mother, Sam.
He said: “Ashley had a hatred of sport, but a love for his cousins. In spite of his hatred for sport, he actually enjoyed playing football with them.
“He loved Queen’s Park as a place. From a very young age he always loved it there. “Bournemouth also stood out as a really important place for him after a holiday there as a child.
“He will be remembered for his hair and his attention to detail.
“Ashley, I hope you’re settled now. I love you to infinity and beyond.”