School friends unite to say farewell to Thomas Cowley

St Helens Star: Thomas Cowley Thomas Cowley

THOMAS Cowley took one final journey past his school today as a funeral cortege made its way to the church in his home village.

In a moving and uplifting ceremony the 15-year-old was remembered by friends and family who paid tribute to his warm and outgoing personality.

Thomas, who suffered from Crohn’s disease, died earlier this month from suspected sudden death syndrome.

He had been recovering well following recent abdominal surgery to treat the inflammatory bowel disease - and his death is believed to have been caused by an unknown heart defect.

All Saints Church in Rainford was packed with mourners, as close pals, school friends and his parents spoke about the void in their lives caused by Thomas’s death.

There was a huge turnout of Thomas’s fellow pupils from Rainford Technology College and they occupied row upon row of pews.

His close friends Ethan, Liam and Charley raised laughs and tears from the congregation with tales of their obsession with game consoles and their affection for their “best mate”.

They described Thomas as a hugely popular character.

They recounted their rituals playing X-box and Thomas’s obsession with a FIFA football game.

The friends told the mourners of their disbelief and devastation and stressed that there was a little bit of Thomas in everyone.

There was also a reading by Claire Fawley, a senior progress leader at Rainford High.

A close family friend Nathan Blackburn, who is a singer from Rainford, gave a stunning performance of The Prayer before Thomas’s parents Adrian and Anne Marie spoke.

Adrian, 52, said: “Thomas was a loveable child and his abilities and attributes have caused him to move in many different ways in his short life.

“I know at all times his confident manner combined with his generous nature and cheeky smile will have touched so many people and so perhaps that is why he was such a popular young man.

“The void that Thomas’ untimely death leaves is immeasurable.”

As his coffin was carried out of church the congregation stood and applauded the youngster who had touched so many of their hearts.

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