HUNDREDS of people attended 18-year-old Thomas Jones’ funeral on November 9 at Redditch Crematorium.
The attendance was so high that many found themselves watching the service from outside.
But they were still able to hear the many tributes from Thomas’ family thanks to a speaker system put in place around the building.
Thomas’ mum, Vicki Jones, began by reading out a poem for her son.
She said: “Tom our worst fear came true when you were found with no one around.
“The search is over now but our hearts will be forever broken.
“We send you off with the greatest love until we meet again.”
Many of the speakers at the funeral touched on Thomas’ love for West Bromwich Albion.
Thomas’ father, Ian Jones, said: “We went to watch football matches all the time.
“In the early days he’d ask me why are the away fans singing ‘sit’ on the villa?
“But of course as he got older he soon realised what they were really chanting.”
Ian finished by saying he will always miss his ‘top man’, his best mate and his boy but he hopes one day his family can regroup with the love and support of those around them.
Close friends told heart-warming stories about Thomas, including his former P.E teacher David Bayliss of South Bromsgrove High school.
He said: “I will truly miss him because we shared many great memories together.
“Tom had a huge impact in the school and always impressed in lessons and on the football team.
“He was a remarkable young lad who was polite, confident, cheerful and a great laugh to be around.”
In between tributes music from Oasis (Thomas’ favourite band), Simply Red and Harry Styles echoed throughout the hall.
At the same time a TV monitor was showing pictures of Thomas in various stages of his life.
Before moving on to Bromsgrove Rugby Club for the wake, Vicki, Ian and sister Ellie stayed behind to spend time with their ‘top man’ one last time.