800 turn out for funeral of stabbed teenager

MORE than 800 mourners attended a funeral for a teenager who was stabbed to death as he walked home from watching a football match in a bar.

• Pupils from Reamonn Gormley's former school, John Ogilvie High, were among the hundreds of mourners who attended the teenager's funeral yesterday. Photograph: Robert Perry

Reamonn Gormley, 19, died in hospital after he was attacked in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, on 1 February. Two men have been charged with his murder.

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Around 700 people packed into the town's St Joseph's RC Church yesterday while dozens more lined the streets outside to listen as the funeral service was broadcast through speakers.

The requiem mass was led by Father Brian Lamb and attended by Reamonn's parents, Jim and Ann, and brother Kieron. Rev Joseph Devine, the Bishop of Motherwell, led part of the service.

The Glasgow University psychology student was a Celtic supporter, and the club's manager Neil Lennon also attended the ceremony.

Reamonn's father and brother were among six pallbearers. Dozens of floral tributes to the student were placed outside the church. At the end of the coffin sat a picture of the smiling student.

Many pupils in their school uniforms and teachers from Reamonn's former school, John Ogilvie High in nearby Burnbank, also attended, and messages of sympathy were sent from as far afield as Thailand and the United States.

The service was followed by a private burial at Priestfield Cemetery in Hamilton.

Reamonn's death sparked an outpouring of grief among the local community. Around 1,400 people took part in a march in memory of the teenager a fortnight ago.

In a statement the family said: "Many tributes have been paid to Reamonn, who was a wonderful son and a loving and caring boy. Reamonn's parents and brother would like to thank everyone for the support and kindness that they have received; they would especially like to mention Blantyre Walk and Rollers for organising a commemorative march and the police for their help and support during a very difficult time."

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Addressing mourners at yesterday's funeral, Father Lamb said: "Reamonn was very much a beloved son, brother, grandson, very much a loved relation and friend. That Wednesday morning when Blantyre woke up to hear the news of his death, the whole community was stunned.

"There was darkness that night, but since then there has been so much light shed on this community and this family, and they are conscious of the support they have received."

Headteacher Eddie Morrison said everyone at the school was "deeply saddened".

Daryn Maxwell, 22, from Hamilton, and 18-year-old Barry Smith, from Blantyre, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court on 7 February charged with the student's murder. They made no plea and were remanded in custody.