They came in their hundreds to pay tribute to a teenager whose smile could light up a room.
Mourners at a packed Fleetwood church paid their respects to Sarah Duggan, who tragically lost her life at the age of 16 after a road accident.
Sarah,a student at Blackpool and The Fylde College, died in Royal Preston Hospital on November 9, after a collision with a car on Fleetwood Road.
A stunning white horse-drawn carriage, pulled by two horses with purple plumage, left Sarah’s home in Brook Street, in Fleetwood’s Broadwater district, at noon on Friday.
The funeral cortege made its way across Fleetwood to St Paul’s Church on Darbishire Road.
A separate hearse was filled with floral tributes bearing Sarah’s name in flowers and bouquets of deep red roses.
Her white coffin was draped with the blue and white colours of Birmingham City, the team she supported, as well as a proud red and white Fleetwood Town flag.
And a football, fashioned from flowers, lay on her coffin.
Family and friends gathered in the church as one of Sarah’s favourite songs, Impossible by James Arthur, was played. As her loved ones, many of them tearful, looked on towards the altar, the Rev Virgil Tountas spoke movingly of the teenager.
He said: “Sarah leaves her parents Julie and Gerry, her two sisters Louise and Kirsty, her brothers David and Thomas, younger sister Nikita, grandmother Brenda and many loved ones.
“She was much loved and cared for, and she is remembered as being delightful and cheerful, always with a smile on her face. She was also a tomboy, ready to take on the world.
“Her teachers and fellow pupils loved her, and say she would bring her smile and laughter to any room. She was cheeky but gentle in her heart.
“Sarah loved her computer games and rugby, but football was her passion, and she supported Birmingham City, Blackpool and Fleetwood Town.”
Rev Tountas also read from St John’s Gospel, and offered comforting words to a family in grief. The service included the hymns All Things Bright and Beautiful and Abide With Me.
And as Sarah’s coffin was solemnly carried out of the church for interment at Fleetwood Cemetery, the church rang out to the haunting strains of I Will Always Love You, by Whitney Houston.