A private funeral for 23-month-old Alfie Evans will be held next week, it has been announced.
In a statement, Merseyside Police said a small number of officers would be in attendance at the funeral of Alfie, who died shortly before his second birthday following a long-running legal battle about whether to continue his life-support treatment.
Well-wishers will be invited to pay their respects by lining the pavement near Goodison Park in Liverpool as the funeral procession passes on Monday morning.
Chief Inspector Chris Gibson said: “We respect that this is a very difficult time for Alfie’s family, friends and the wider members of the public and appreciate that a number of people will want to pay their respects and offer their condolences.
“Alfie’s mum and dad, Tom and Kate, continue to thank the community for their support but have asked us to ask well-wishers to respect their privacy during the event.
“They have invited those who wish to show their support on the day to line the pavement on Walton Lane outside Goodison Park from the junction of Spellow Lane towards Queens Drive as the funeral procession passes between 11 and 11.30am.
“Both the funeral and wake will not be open to the public or media, with our attendance purely being to offer support for those attending the funeral.
“Those who have not been invited to the funeral are asked to avoid the area to allow Alfie’s family to grieve privately.”
In a post on the Alfie’s Army Facebook page, his uncle Daniel Evans said: “The funeral will be private due to family’s wishes, we ask that no one turns up unless you have been personally invited by Thomas and Kate as there’s a limited number of people who are allowed to attend, invitations are currently being sorted out for family and close friends.
Thank you all for your support.”
Doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool stopped providing life-support treatment to Alfie last month after his parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, lost two rounds of fights in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.
Mr Evans and Ms James had hoped to take Alfie, who had a degenerative brain disease, to a hospital in Rome.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said staff had experienced “unprecedented personal abuse” as it found itself at the centre of a “social media storm” as a result of the case.
Protesters attempted to storm the hospital and blocked the road outside during demonstrations against the withdrawal of his life-support treatment.