HUNDREDS of people - including a host of Saints players - paid their respects for schoolboy Harrison Ledsham.
St Mark’s Church, in Haydock, was packed with people who knew and loved the 12-year-old who died following a year-long battle with bone cancer.
Harrison’s piano teacher Chris Kissock played as mourners entered the church, with Hozier’s Take Me To Church playing as his coffin, draped in a flag in the colours of his beloved Saints, was carried past a guard of honour from his local Scouts troupe.
Rev Ian Hopkins conducted the service, with tributes read out by family friend Gill Wilton, deputy headteacher of Standish High School, Dee Griffiths; his former headteacher Andy Howard at Legh Primary School and Stephen Cruse, who supported Harrison after he had his leg amputated through charity AIM NW UK.
A montage of photos was shown throughout, ending with a video of him playing Coldplay’s Paradise on the piano.
There was also a dedication to Harrison’s parents Karen and Paul, whose daughter Abigail, died from Sandhoffs Disease, in 2008 shortly before her second birthday.
Mrs Griffiths spoke of Harrison’s popularity and his sense of humour, who had “an inclination to mischief.”
She added: “He was a bright young man, a talented musician, a good sportsman and blessed with a personality which exuded kindness and thoughtfulness. Haydock has lost a remarkable hero but his legacy will live on in the example he has set and the sense of community he has fostered in us all.”
Mr Cruse, who runs AIM NW UK, spoke of Harrison’s achievements of winning the Pride of St Helens and the Pride of Merseyside awards, plus the AIM inspirational child award. He said: “He certainly was the most inspirational, courageous, determined young man we have ever had the pleasure to meet. Be proud of your achievements and proud of your ability to reach so many hearts.”
Harrison’s coffin was carried out to another guard of honour from his Saints heroes, to Ellie Golding’s How Long Will I Love You.