A FOOTBALL match which brought together two Burnley schools in memory of tragic teenager Declan Edwards has raised £900 towards his funeral today.
A team made up of his closest friends from Unity College played against nearby Shuttleworth College at Padiham FC’s Arbories Memorial Sports Ground on Thursday evening.
Declan's friend Cadie Mayor, 16, a pupil at Shuttleworth College, said: “It all turned out really well and more than 450 people came.
“The score was 3-1 to Unity, which was nice becuase the team was made up of all his best friends so you just felt like they won it for him.
“Everyone is still really upset and sad about the funeral today but it does feel good that we were able to help his family in some way.”
Declan, 16, went missing from home on Sunday, May 4. He was found hanged in woodland near Rowley Lake by police at around 4pm last Thursday.
The community has since rallied together to organise fund-raising events to pay for his funeral service today. Hundreds turned out to say their respects at St Catherine's Church this morning.
A statement from Declan's mum Mandy, dad Christopher, sister Jessica Watson and his family said: "On behalf of Declan, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your effort and support during this very difficult time. Your donations have been overwhelming and have helped us in ways you cannot imagine.
“As for the funeral arrangements we would like to invite all family, friends and the loving public of Burnley and the surrounding areas to celebrate Declan's life."
A horse and cart set off from the family home in Waddington Avenue, Burnley, at 9.30am for the funeral service to start at 10am at St Catherine's in Todmordon Road.
The route from the house to the church went via Harry Potts Way for anyone who wanted to pay their respects.
The burial was taking place at Burnley Cemetery at 11am before heading back to the 1882 lounge at Burnley Football Club at 12.15pm to 5pm for further celebrations for Declan.
Mum Mandy added: “Please can all donations be given to the funeral providers, Alderson and Horan, to then be passed on to the Street League foundation in Declan's honour.
“Thank you for your continued support and overwhelming generosity.”