A grief stricken community came to a complete standstill for the funeral of a popular and loving teenager killed in a road smash.
Hundreds lined the streets of Aston and Swallownest to pay their respects to 16-year-old Josh Tyler who was travelling home on his scooter when he was in a collision with a car.
Dozens of 4x4 vehicles, motorbikes and a JCB digger formed a cortege which set off from his home on Hepworth Drive, Swallownest.
The huge cortege made its way past Josh’s school, Aston Academy, where hundreds of teary pupils and teaching staff lined the road to say farewell before heading to All Saints Aston-cum-Aughton Church.
The coffin, covered with photos of Josh and the things he loved the most, was carried in by family members as mum Julie, dad Ray, sister Jodie and her boyfriend Callum, walked in behind.
Mourners walked into the church to chart hit ‘Cheerleader’ by Omni as Reverend Sarah Colver began with a welcome and an opening prayer.
His parents Julie and Ray said: “Josh, we will love you forever and always. You are our special boy.”
An emotional service had tributes from Josh’s friends and family.
One said: “It was only two days before that fateful night that you said you were going to save up and come to Thailand.
“You were a good, loving, funny guy. Love you always bro, you’ll never be forgotten.”
Another said: “It still doesn’t feel real, I look out of the window expected you to be messing with your truck. I’ll miss you big lad.”
The family are to take some of Josh’s ashes to Thailand as he planned to go before he died.
The sadness eroded for a few moments as laughter broke out when Reverend Colver read out some of Josh’s sayings which one included: “You don’t get these guns from Poundland!”
After the service, many sobbing friends of Josh comforted each other before the cortege headed off to Rotherham Crematorium for a private service.
More tributes flooded in on the ‘RIP Josh Tyler’ Facebook page after the service ended.
Robert Smithson wrote: “Hope you get the send off you deserve big man, its not the same with out you. Rest rest in paradise lad missing you loads”
Olivia Foster added: “So upsetting today, can’t believe that you have gone from us. You will always be in our hearts no matter where we go you will follow us all, Love you Josh Tyler rest in peace.”
Ebony Gilbank also posted a tribute online, she said: “RIP Josh. Great send off, so sad but everyone did you proud. Something we’re never going to forget.”