3:28pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014
By Miranda Newey
“SHE had a smile that could light the darkest room and was utterly unique”.
Friends and family of tragic teenager Aleysha Rothwell packed into Bolton Parish Church for her funeral this morning.
The St Catherine’s Academy pupil was found hanged at her foster family’s home in Breightmet on Thursday, April 3.
Two white horses draped in purple — the 16-year-old’s favourite colour — led the hearse, which was in an ornate white carriage, to the church in Churchgate.
A poem written by Bev Sharples, Aleysha’s foster mother, was read to the congregation by The Reverend Matt Canon Matt Thompson.
Rev Thompson said: “You helped so many, they always came for advice.
"Always on your laptop and tunes blasting out.
"Always in the bath and doing your lipstick pout.
"The angels came for you and took you home.
"You are free now princess, you are free to roam.”
Hymn Autumn Days, chosen by two of Aleysha’s sisters, and Amazing Grace were sung during the service.
Beth Lees, Aleysha’s girlfriend, read an emotional eulogy.
She said: “The first time I met her she had me doing the conga down New Lane in Breightmet. She was the sexiest, most beautiful girl I have ever met.
“We used to dance around her bedroom to Billy Ocean and Arctic Monkeys. We were told we sounded like a herd of elephants.”
Beth, who wore a T-shirt with Aleysha’s photograph on, was one of the pallbearers.
Rev Thompson said when Aleysha was born she was such a beautiful baby with blonde sticking up hair that the midwife showed her off around the ward.
Aleysha grew up in Brazley Avenue, Great Lever, and attended St Simon and St Jude School, Great Lever before moving to Wigan.
She returned to Bolton about 15 months ago.
As a young girl she dreamed of being an air hostess.
Rev Thompson said: “Her smile could light up the darkest room, really funny, so full of life, unpredictable and so utterly unique.
"We all know of her love of music and dancing around.
"She knew every word to Arctic Monkeys. Sometimes, like other teenagers, she liked watching films and snacking with friends.
"Other times she wanted to get away from it all, run away. She would get up and go.”
The teenager had travelled to Egypt and Spain but particularly enjoyed trips to Blackpool with her sister, Karly.
Songs Wings by Birdy and Let Her Go by Passenger were played during the service and Cornerstone by Arctic Monkeys was played as the congregation left the church.
St Catherine’s Academy Principal Lee Harris and chairman of governors, Graham Burrows, were among the mourners at Aleysha’s funeral. Mr Burrows gave a reading.
Many of the mourners wore purple, some wore T-shirts saying RIP Aleysha. There were floral tributes in the year 11 pupil’s name.
An interment followed the service at Tonge Cemetery.
A fundraising event to cover the costs of a headstone for Aleysha will be held at the Mosley Arms in Red Lane, Breightmet, on Saturday afternoon.
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