PICTURE GALLERY: More than 800 flock to funeral of Bexleyheath Academy teen Philip Lamin
PUBLISHED: 15:30 13 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:44 13 March 2013
There was laughter and tears in almost equal measure as more than 800 people gathered to celebrate the life of popular Bexleyheath Academy teenager Philip Lamin who died from a cardiac arrest.
The 16-year-old was playing football at the Goals Soccer Centre in Gordon Road, Bexleyheath on February 5 when he suddenly collapsed and was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Scores of people flocked to the Freedom Centre International to pay their respects last Friday, and the giant hall was only just big enough to hold the huge crowd.
Pictures of Philip as a young boy were projected on to a big screen, some of which are shown here.
Following the thanksgiving service his mum Juliet led a procession along Bellegrove Road to Hillview Cemetery for the burial.
Juliet honoured her only child, who she lived with in Gordon Road, Belvedere. She said: “He was a happy boy and never got angry.
“He was respectful, polite and a true gent who was very protective of his friends and never disappointed his mum.
“The support of my friends and Philip’s friends at Bexleyheath Academy has been amazing and I have found them a source of strength and inspiration.”
The service included reflections from the school’s staff and some of Philip’s best friends, who united to raise £3,000 to help pay for the funeral and donate money to charities Cardiac Risk in the Young and Arrhythmia Alliance. Miljan Scekic tried to save Philip’s life when he collapsed, and was one of his best friends.
Speaking after he helped carry his coffin into the church, he said: “I don’t know why he’s gone but I’m sure there’s a good reason for it.
“I’ll miss all the times we spent together and he’s the best friend I could ever ask for.”
Former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba sent a letter of condolence to Bexleyheath Academy last week.
Muamba also suffered a heart attack while playing against Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup game on March 17 last year. He recovered but has since retired from the sport.
Academy principal Carl Wakefield commented that he was proud and honoured to have Philip at his school.
“He was such a polite and nice young man.
“Our family has faced up to adversity and if there is a silver lining, it’s that this tragedy has brought us all closer together and I’ve gained lifelong friends, including Juliet.”