Friends say goodbye to Scott
'MY Scott.' Two simple words crafted out of white and red flowers said all that needed saying. A poignant, moving tribute to beloved 15-year-old Scott Towler who was laid to rest at a service at St Mary in the Elms Church yesterday Inside the church, at the foot of the small silver-handled white coffin, amid the floral tribute, lay the teenager's blue sports bag.
Two simple words crafted out of white and red flowers said all that needed saying.
A poignant, moving tribute to beloved 15-year-old Scott Towler who was laid to rest at a service at St Mary in the Elms Church yesterday
Inside the church, at the foot of the small silver-handled white coffin, amid the floral tribute, lay the teenager's blue sports bag.
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And beyond that a sea of more than 300 mourners, who had come to bid a final goodbye to a treasured brother, cousin and a friend.
Hundreds filed into the church's dim, incense-filled interior, behind Scott's family, their heads bowed to the sound of a single bell toll and Mariah Carey's One Sweet Day.
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Earlier, a pair of gleaming black horses, in full funeral regalia, had drawn Scott's glass sided funeral carriage in a police-flanked procession from Valley Road.
On top of it, made out of blue and white flowers, was a football.
Cars stopped and shopkeepers flooded onto the streets to bow their heads as a hundred mourners, many of them Scott and Dean's schoolmates from Stoke High School walked by.
Some were hand in hand, others leant on each other for support. Many were clasping bouquets dedicated to the popular pair.
They crammed the pews of St Mary in the Elm's church. And those who couldn't sit, stood throughout the hour-long or listened to the service which was broadcast outside.
Father Haley Dossor, who had known the 15-year-old from birth, paid moving tribute to the "kind" and "mischievous" teenager, who he called simply a "gift from God."
More moving still were the tributes read out by Scott's aunt, Christine Read, and his cousin 23-year-old Lynsey Read.
Her voice breaking with emotion, Lynsey said: "Scott was always the baby of the cousins. We tried our best to look after him. I hope now he is looking after us."
She read from Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep, a poem left anonymously on an internet tribute site to the two friends.
And, her voice heavy with tears, she read lines from a poem written by Scott's cousins, called simply Scott.
A pictorial tribute to Scott at the back of the church showed photos of him as a baby, a primary school pupil at St Matthew's Primary School and later as a carefree, happy teenager. It also included Scott's babyhood hero, Thomas the Tank Engine.
The poignancy was in what wasn't there. What could never be there. The pictures of the man he would have been.
Leaving the church red-eyed, dozens of school friends signed a remembrance book.
'I love you. I hope all your dreams come true in heaven,' wrote one. 'I will miss you forever m8,' another.
And as the mourners spilled out of the church onto the pavement, to Sting's 'Every Breath I Take' and then 'Sweet Child of Mine' by Guns and Roses, a sadder sight still.
Dean Bloomfield's parents, Sharon and Dennis, dazzled by the sunlight and dazed from their recent tragedy, knowing next Thursday at a different church the mourners would be back.