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Thousands in final tribute to Stephen

By Richard Vernalls

The public bade an emotional farewell to inspirational teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton yesterday as more than 10,000 people joined a vigil in his honour.

A service at Lichfield Cathedral, marking the end of two days' thanksgiving for his life, was attended by friends and family, including his mother Jane and older brother Chris.

Among mourners was comedian Jason Manford, who looked visibly upset during the service. The comedian had met Stephen in hospital, and was among a host of celebrities praising the young man's courage in living with terminal disease.

Earlier, about 400 people had also given a thumbs-up to the memory of the brave campaigner, who helped raise £4m in the fight against cancer.

The 19-year-old succumbed to multiple tumours on May 14 after a determined fight – provoking an outpouring of grief, and prompting Prime Minister David Cameron to say: "His spirit, bravery and fundraising for cancer research were all an inspiration."

During the service, the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Reverend Adrian Dorber, said the enduring lesson of Stephen, diagnosed with bowel cancer at 15, was "to live not as a victim but as a free young person."

Outside, a crowd of 1,200 clapped as his coffin emerged from the cathedral, followed by a release of yellow balloons.

Belfast Telegraph


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