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St Anne’s Church in Keighley full for funeral of Riddlesden man Sam Hill
St Anne’s Church in Keighley was full on Tuesday for the funeral of Riddlesden man Sam Hill.
More than 200 people gathered to pay tribute to the 22-year-old, who died last month while on holiday in Magaluf.
Family, friends and well-wishers watched as the white rose-covered coffin was carried down the aisle of the Roman Catholic church.
Mass was celebrated for the hugely-popular young plumber, and the congregation heard stories about his life.
Sam, a former student of Holy Family School in Keighley, died following a fall while on holiday with a friend.
He leaves behind his mum and dad, Vanessa and Steve, brother Tom, and his girlfriend Jodie Corbett, Jodie was among people who spoke lovingly about Sam during the touching service.
One of the priests officiating, Canon Michael McCreadie, told the story of how Sam was given a plum tree as a child and it had subsequently grown and provided much fruit. A branch full of plums snapped on the same day as Sam died, and the family had made the fruit into jam so it was not wasted.
Sam’s father has fashioned the branch into a simple cross, which is likely to be placed on Sam’s final resting place.
Canon McCreadie described Sam as “uniquely special”, and said the large numbers of people attending the funeral showed the love and affection in which he was held.
He added: “Sam was full of life and lived his life to the full, and was open with his family and his many friends.”
A family friend said Sam was very active and sociable, taking part in activities like camping, cycling, canoeing and fishing.
He added: “Sam’s motto was work hard, play hard. It’s a comfort to his family to know how much he managed to pack into his 22 years with his trademark good humour and quick wit.”