Hundreds pack Barnsbury church for Alan Cartwright’s funeral
- Credit: Vickie Flores
Family lay teen to rest seven weeks after brutal stabbing in Caledonian Road
The sun shone for Alan Cartwright in Islington today as hundreds of mourners joined the teenager’s family to lay a beloved son, brother and grandson to rest.
A crowd of more than 500 gathered outside St Andrew’s Church in Thornhill Square, Barnsbury, for the funeral of the 15-year-old who was brutally stabbed to death while cycling up Caledonian Road on the evening of February 27 – causing an outcry amongst the whole community.
Speaking inside the church, no more than 100 metres from the spot where teenager fell, Alan’s sister Cherrie Smith said the her brother would “live on forever in my heart.”
“Alan my love, the pain in my heart will never go away,” she said.
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“You were my best friend.
“I’m scared of forgetting what you sound like. I wish that there was a way that I could speak to you, I wish you were here.”
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Alan’s coffin was brought to the church in a white herse pulled by two white horses which stood majestically in the beautiful square surrounded by blossom filled trees – natures tribute to a boy who was in the spring of his life when he was killed.
Others who spoke at the funeral included Alan’s uncle Brian Cartwright who read the poem “Death is nothing at all” by Henry Scott Holland.
Sam Bishop, a friend of family who helped raise more than £9,000 for the funeral, said: “I knew Alan since he was a little boy, a long time.
“He was a lovely little boy, always very friendly and very funny, he was always laughing.
“He’s sadly missed by everyone.”
Many of the mourners at the church wore badges sporting the image of a bike without its front wheel, reminiscent of a video of bike-loving Alan which emerged after his death – showing the giggling teenager cycling round an Islington estate with only his back wheel for several minutes.
On the badges the wheel was replaced with “ride for justice”, referring to a bike ride from London to Brighton which will take place on what would have been Alan’s 16th birthday on June 6.
Money raised from the bike ride will be used to set up a memorial for Alan as well as supporting charities that tackle knife crime and the Henry Hicks Foundation which supports families who have lost their young sons and daughters.
A teenager appeared at the Old Bailey charged with Alan’s murder on March 11.
Joshua Williams, 18, of Davenant Road, Upper Holloway, is also charged with conspiracy to rob in relation to the fatal stabbing.
A 17-year-old boy and two men aged 18 and 21 were arrested on suspicion of murder relating to the death and have been bailed until dates in April.