Sophie was so loved

ON the heart-wrenching day of his teenage daughters' funeral, a devastated Ipswich dad has opened his heart to speak of the depth of his loss.Sophie Underwood, 18, of Foxhall Road, described affectionately as a “social butterfly who loved to party”, tragically died on November 13 following a road accident on the same road she lived on, just minutes from her front door.

ON the heart-wrenching day of his teenage daughters' funeral, a devastated Ipswich dad has opened his heart to speak of the depth of his loss.

Sophie Underwood, 18, of Foxhall Road, described affectionately as a “social butterfly who loved to party”, tragically died on November 13 following a road accident on the same road she lived on, just minutes from her front door.

Family and friends gathered today to say an emotional farewell to a bubbly character her father Alex Underwood described as “a typical teenager”.

The former Copleston pupil worked at Costa Coffee in WH Smith's town centre store in Ipswich and had been on her way to Tesco, in Martlesham, with a friend when the tragic accident happened.

Mr Underwood, 51, said: “She wasn't exactly shy and retiring.

“She was a very outgoing girl, a typical teenager - warts and all, but to her friends she was lovely.”

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“She would send eight million texts a day; she just got a new contract in fact for a thousand texts a month and that wasn't enough.”

Mr Underwood said he had been touched by the overwhelming support helping him through a distressing time with many of his daughter's friends visiting to offer their condolences.

He said: “It's been remarkable, for such young people they are just so grown up and to come round here and talk to me and to send cards, under the circumstances, is really exceptional.”

It is now two weeks since the tragic accident that claimed Sophie's life and the moment Mr Underwood was informed of what happened.

In a nightmare scenario for any parent he described being woken in the middle of the night by a knock at the door from police.

He said: “She [Sophie] had asked me to make her a salad for the next day and she was going to buy some prawns, I think they were off to the cinema after that.

“It was four miles up the road; she left here at 8pm and it was 8.05pm when the accident happened.

“I went to bed and didn't think anything of it. She was a teenager and would come home at midnight and get up for work at eight with no problems.”

It was not until around 1.30am that Mr Underwood learned what happened.

“I had to break the news to her mother and sister, which was hard. It was like a domino effect,” he said.

Sophie's funeral took place today at 11.45am in the West Chapel of Ipswich Crematorium.

Family and friends have arranged for the occasion to be a celebration of her life rather than a sombre occasion.

One of Sophie's closest friends, Katie Joughin, 19, of Valley View Road, Ipswich, said: “We all thought it would be a good idea to wear bright clothes to her funeral because she was such a bright and bubbly person.

“She was always so happy and she just spoke to everyone.”

To pay your tribute to Sophie Underwood log on to our site at www.eveningstar.co.uk where a special online book of condolences has been opened.

POPULAR teen Sophie Underwood went to Bell Lane Primary School in Kesgrave before moving to Broke Hall Primary in Ipswich.

She attended Copleston High School and later completed her AS levels at Copleston Sixth Form.

She worked as a ball girl for three years at Ipswich Town Football Club where she worked at the Ipswich versus Croatia match at Portman Road in 2003.

An Ipswich Town supporter, she had planned to watch the team play against Southampton today.

Sophie has a sister, Jessica, who is 16.

Tributes to Sophie

COSTA Coffee in WH Smith in Ipswich town centre was closed today as a mark of respect to Sophie and the 18-year-old driver of the Renault Clio, who also worked in the café, and who is still being treated at Ipswich Hospital.

Sophie's family received a letter from the manager of the company offering their condolences, which Mr Underwood described as a thoughtful act.

Sophie's family said they were touched to receive a letter from one of the other drivers involved in the accident, offering his condolences for their loss.

Mr Underwood said: “The people who could have been angry were ourselves because we are suffering the worst part of the deal but there's no place for anger in these circumstances.

“It was just a tragic accident, what more can you say?”

Friends of Sophie's have raised more than £500 for the charity Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) by keeping a bucket in the Sainsbury's store in Warren Heath, Ipswich.

The family requested that donations be made to the charity rather than flowers at the funeral.

I can't begin to say how much we will miss you Sophie, you crammed a lifetime into a few short years, but your zest for life was so infectious! Your beautiful face and lovely smile will be remembered by so many, sleep well my darling.

Bev Warner, Kesgrave

We've known you from 'day one'- happy smiling Sophie. It will mean so much to your mum and all the family that so many people loved you and will miss you. Your life may have been too short but it has had an amazing impact on everyone you came into contact with and we are all the better for it. You may have left our lives but you will always be in our hearts. Sleep well xxx

'Auntie' Gaynor, 'Uncle Graham', Daniel and Chloe (James) , Glossop, Derbyshire

You had something very precious inside you and that was true inner beauty. You were always friendly to everyone and always had a smile on your face. You also had the ability to make everyone around you happy as well and that makes you a very special person. You will be sorely missed but the huge positive impact you had on everyone will not be forgotten. Thank you for being such a fantastic human being and you will never be forgotten.

Martin, Ipswich

Still can't come to terms with this Soph. Such a beautiful happy person. I will never forget all our fab times together, you never failed to make me smile. Always singing and laughing. Always in our hearts. Love and miss you.

Amy C, Ipswich

I can't begin to say how much we will miss you Sophie, you crammed a lifetime into a few short years, but your zest for life was so infectious! Your beautiful face and lovely smile will be remembered by so many, sleep well my darling.

Bev Warner, Kesgrave

To my beautiful darling Sophie. I don't know quite what to say, I can't come to terms that your pretty face has really gone. I'm wishing on your star that I'm going to see you one day soon. You had so many friends because you truly were a top girl. I could not have wished for a better best mate than you Soph's and I am going to miss you like crazy until that day. I know you're going to be with me and watch over all the people you loved most, which is so warming. Can't wait to see that fab smile and pretty head of yours! Here's a big hug and millions of kisses. Love you always & for ever, kooze xxx

Katie Joughin, Ipswich

We've known you from 'day one'- happy smiling Sophie. It will mean so much to your mum and all the family that so many people loved you and will miss you. Your life may have been too short but it has had an amazing impact on everyone you came into contact with and we are all the better for it. You may have left our lives but you will always be in our hearts. Sleep well xxx

'Auntie' Gaynor, 'Uncle Graham', Daniel and Chloe (James) , Glossop, Derbyshire

Soph, your beautiful smiling face is missed so much sweetheart. I know your there looking over us, and probably laughing at us when we get down. You always managed to brighten up the room with your smile. All Hairspray songs are dedicated to you!! Stay smiling honey. xx.

Harriet, Ipswich.

Sophie, my gorgeous angel. Words can't describe what has happened. You will be missed by a world that loved you very much. Forever now our angel :) I love you xxxxxxx

Annelie Harvey, Ipswich

You had something very precious inside you and that was true inner beauty. You were always friendly to everyone and always had a smile on your face. You also had the ability to make everyone around you happy as well and that makes you a very special person. You will be sorely missed but the huge positive impact you had on everyone will not be forgotten. Thank you for being such a fantastic human being and you will never be forgotten

Martin, Ipswich

You were always like a little sister to me, I can't get my head around what has happened and all I keep thinking about was those times we spent doing dance routines for our mums and dads, and singing Ant and Dec on the karaoke! You were such a laugh, and a lovely girl, you will always be in my heart, and we all know you are in a peaceful place now. Love you lots Sophs.

Chloe James, Glossop, Derbyshire

Soph....take care beautiful. Sweet Dreams. You never deserved this. I'll always think of the times we had and all the funny moments! Even though you're not here I can still feel your presence. May God look after you always. You're one in a million Sweetpea.. Never forget you... Love you forever.

Stefanie x, Ipswich

R.I.P Sophie, You were such a star, you made me laugh everytime I saw you, I can't believe you've gone. You are missed so much by everyone, sleeptight, loving you always.

Lauren Pittock, Ipswich

Goodbye Sophie.. you've just always been there, always. And its just weird how people can disappear just like that -not fair. Always have been and always will be such a bubbly excitable mad and crazy girlie with never anything but a huge grin all over your face. You just loved having fun and a real laugh all the time, I bet you're having a right old time up there now! See you soon we all hope.

Laura, Ipswich

Another angel in heaven, another star in the sky, R.I.P Soph.

Emma, Ipswich

Soph, I think about you every minute of the day - like I always did anyway, you were the bestest friend anyone could have asked for. You made so much time and effort for your friends. So many people are devastated by you leaving us - you had such an impact on so many peoples' lives. I'm so glad I still have the memories with me, because you are included in so many of them. I missed you so much when I went to uni - I don't know how I'm going to handle not even seeing you when I'm back. But I feel you are still around - how could you not be, you are such a strong and colourful person to be gone forever. We all love you so much Soph - never forget you. I miss you. So much. xxx

Chloé Warner, Ipswich

Still cant come to terms with this Soph. Such a beautiful happy person. I will never forget all our fab times together, you never failed to make me smile. Always singing and laughing. Always in our hearts. Love and miss you x x x

Amy C, Ipswich

To view the full list of tributes visit www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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