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Kirsty Howard’s funeral: Hundreds of people donned pink in tribute

1Hundreds of people donned pink in tribute to courageous fundraiser Kirsty Howard at her funeral.

The 20-year-old’s coffin was laid to rest at Southern Cemetery, in Chorlton, following a service at St Michael and All Angels Church.
Crowds of mourners turned out to pay their respects as a cortège left Francis House in Disbury led by a horse-drawn hearse, made its way to the church in Wythenshawe.

Applause broke out as the pink coffin, pulled by white horses dressed in pink feathers, passed. The cortège made stops at places important to Kirsty including her family home, located on the same road as the church.

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Kirsty met a number of celebrities during her fundraising campaign, with Royle Family star Sue Johnston and Coronation Street actress Samia Ghadie at her funeral.

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Opera singer Russell Watson was also among the mourners and his song recorded in tribute to Kirsty, named Is Nothing Sacred Anymore, was played at the beginning of the service.
The service was led by the Reverend Stephen Edwards, with mourners singing hymns Morning Has Broken and All Things Bright and Beautiful in the packed church.
He spoke of Kirsty’s “amazing energy” and the way her inspirational fundraising had “touched thousands of people”,
Fellow fundraiser Susie Mathis, who asked Kirsty to front the Francis House fundraising campaign, gave a eulogy.

The church erupted into laughter when she spoke of the time Kirsty met idol Ronan Keating and when she joined David Beckham in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

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Debbie Winstanley, from Wythenshawe Hospital, talked about Kirsty’s brave spirit while she was in hospital adding: “Don’t cry because it’s over, but smile because she was here”.
Poems were also read out by Sue Johnston and Kirsty’s close friend Frankii Maia.
The Rev’d Edwards read a tribute written by sister’s Zoe and Kim Howard, which described Kirsty as “the best auntie in the world”.

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Following the ceremony the cortège travelled to Southern Cemetery, making stops at Rack House Primary School and the Lancasterian School, before a private service took place.

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