Hundreds attend funeral of Addiscombe ecstasy death teen Daniel Spargo-Mabbs
Family and friends gathered yesterday for a final farewell to teenager Daniel Spargo-Mabbs, who died last month after taking ecstasy.
Classmates and teachers lined the road to watch his funeral cortège pass by Archbishop Tenison's Church of England High School, where the 16-year-old studied, before friends and relatives paid moving tributes to the "amazing and rich character" at church.
The Addiscombe teenager's parents, Fiona and Tim, yesterday also launched a charity in his name to educate youths on drugs.
The A-level student, of Rymer Road, died on January 20 after taking MDMA at a rave in West London.
Following a private burial ceremony, more than 400 people packed into Emmanuel Church in Normanton Road, South Croydon, to share memories and celebrate his life.
Daniel Spargo-Mabbs died last month
Some friends came in fancy dress or novelty ties in tribute to the teenager's sense of humour.
Jenna Coombs, Daniel's girlfriend of two years, described him as "the one person in the world who I felt I could confide all of my secrets and feelings in".
She said: "Daniel, I promise you I will always care about you and love you just as much as if you were here with me today."
Russell Spargo, Daniel's uncle, said speaking at the memorial service was "the most unwelcome honour of my entire life".
He added: "Daniel, you were an unmissable presence in every room. You were funny, direct, but kind too. It was a total privilege to have been your uncle."
Tim Spargo-Mabbs, a reader at the church, read a prayer he had written for his son, while schoolmates and Archbishop Tenison's headteacher Richard Parrish also paid tributes.
Archbison Tenison's students line the streets as the cortège passes
One friend, Jack Scott, said: "By now Dan would probably have said stop moping around and cheer up a bit, but I am just not able to do that yet.
"I know for sure whatever he is doing now he's making somebody laugh."
The service ended with mourners listening to Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender - chosen, said Rev. Bridget Shepherd, because Daniel did "a mean Elvis impression".
A joint tribute, released to mark the funeral by Mr and Mrs Spargo-Mabbs and Daniel's older brother Jacob, read: "Daniel was the loveliest boy.
Daniel's parents Tim and Fiona Spargo-Mabbs leaving church
"It is impossible to sum up such an amazing and rich character in just a few words.
"He engaged everyone he met, and those of us who lived with him have had our lives enriched by his presence in them."
The family have established the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation in his memory to provide support and advice about substance abuse to youngsters.