HUNDREDS of people packed into church yesterday to pay tribute to 16-year-old Cameron Minshull.
There was standing room only for the funeral at St Thomas and St John’s Church, in Blackburn Street, Radcliffe, as friends and family said goodbye to the popular teenager.
Cameron, from Unsworth, died on January 8 after an industrial accident at the Bury factory where he had started working as an apprentice just weeks earlier.
Among the mourners were 20 of Cameron’s closest friends from Radcliffe Riverside High School, where he was a pupil until last summer, as well as headteacher Ian Bott and several other members of staff.
Many people wore traditional black clothes, but others wore personal tributes to Cameron, a Manchester United fan. One teenager wore the club’s shirt with “Cam” and the number 16 on the back, while another wore a red hooded top bearing the club’s emblem and a message to Cameron.
Close friends carried flowers in tribute to Cameron and floral tributes spelling “brother” and “nephew” accompanied his coffin in the hearse.
A Manchester United flag was draped over the coffin as it was carried into the church to the sound of Ghetto Gospel, by Tupac.
People of all ages packed into the church, including many teenagers holding hands or giving hugs to comfort each other.
The service was led by Irene Thirkell, a lay minister, who read a verse named Deep Sobs.
She told the congregation that Cameron was “thought of very highly” by pupils and staff at Radcliffe Riverside High School and he would do “anything for anyone”.
Mrs Thirkell said he loved being with his friends and family, playing computer games, watching football and going on family holidays.
She said: “He was at his happiest when at home with his family and eating his mum’s tea, spaghetti bolognese being his favourite.
“Although Cameron wasn’t a lad who asked for anything in life, he was content. He just wanted to make his family proud and his family were so very proud of what he was doing with his life.”
She added: “Nothing on this earth would ever be able to fill or take his place.”
Prayers were said for Cameron, before the coffin was carried out of the church as I’ll Be Missing You, by Puff Daddy, was played.
After the funeral, a private service for family and close friends was held at East Lancashire Crematorium in Radcliffe.
Cameron, who had two sisters and a brother, died in hospital shortly after being injured in a machine accident at Zaffar Engineering UK Ltd, in Huntley Mount Road, Bury.
An investigation is still being carried out by the police and Health And Safety Executive.