HUNDREDS of mourners dressed in red today as they paid their last respects at the funeral of teenager Russell O’Neill, who died while swimming in a Worcestershire quarry.
The 17-year-old was given a tearful send off by around 400 people who packed into St Martin with St Peter’s Church in Worcester, many wearing Liverpool Football shirts in a nod to Mr O’Neill’s favourite team.
Reverend Fran Binding led the service and read emotional tributes to the teenager from all his eight brothers and sisters and parents, Tina and John.
She said: “Ryan, You taught me skills just like a pro. I will never forget you big bro. Nathan, You always meant a lot to me. I could never love you less. I know it’s true when they say he always takes the best. Bethany, it is the hugs I miss the most.
“Adam, Russ goodbye for now. I couldn’t have grown up without you and I don’t know how I will make it through each day without you. Sophie, Your beautiful smile and caring was are just a few of the things we will remembering the passing days.
“Wayne, I honestly can’t tell you how much I am going to miss you. I will miss coming home from work to find you asleep in my bed waiting for me to play Fifa. Though you might not be here in body I hope your spirit will watch over me while I sleep until we meet again.
“Chris, It is ever so hard to see you go and the pain in my heart will never go. Lisa, A hero like you is so very rare, that is why this heartache isn’t fair.
“Tina, Russ you were superstar at everything. Football, being a son, brother, uncle, nephew, grandson and friend to many. One of your sayings to me was mum you are legend, so from one legend to another I love you so much and you will be sadly missed by all your family.”
There was also a letter from Liverpool Football Club read out paying their respects to a great supporter.
Mr O’Neill’s fellow team members from the Worcester College of Technology Worcester City football Academy wore red ribbons and stood alongside players from Mr O’Neill’s other team Drakes Broughton Football Club.
As the service ended the congregation left the church to the anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone.
The tragic teenager from Ronkswood died on Saturday, July 6, while swimming in Gullet Quarry in the Malvern Hills.
His death was followed by another at the same quarry less than a week later and the family have begun campaigning to ensure the site is made safer.