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Loving farewell paid to Norwich boy, 16, after sudden death

Mourners attended a socially-distanced funeral for Blake Hale. Picture: Archant/Wroxham FC

Mourners attended a socially-distanced funeral for Blake Hale. Picture: Archant/Wroxham FC

Archant

A fun and caring 16-year-old boy who died unexpectedly has been given a loving send-off.

Tributes have been paid to Norwich junior footballer Blake Hale, who died unexpectedly. Picture: Wroxham Football ClubTributes have been paid to Norwich junior footballer Blake Hale, who died unexpectedly. Picture: Wroxham Football Club

There was a small gathering at Sprowston Sports and Social Club on Thursday, May 7 for the funeral of Blake Hale, who died on April 17 from complications of type one diabetes, which had previously gone undetected.

Due to the lockdown, only a few close family and friends were told the funeral was going ahead. Blake’s coffin was placed on the football pitch, and organisers marked out positions on the grass so attendees could socially distance.

Blake lived with his family on the Larkman estate, off Dereham Road in Norwich, and he was a keen junior footballer and wrestler.

Amie, Blake’s mum, read a tribute to him, saying he was not only her oldest son, but her best friend.

Mourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at  Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: ArchantMourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: Archant

She said: “If I was having a bad day at work I would come home and talk to you about it.

“You always made me laugh. Our family will never be the same again. You’re gone but will never be forgotten.”

Amie described Blake as “fun, caring, kind and loud - very loud”.

MORE: Tributes after footballer, 16, dies of undetected diabetes

Mourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at  Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: ArchantMourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: Archant

She said: “When he was playing on his PlayStation 4, me and dad were always telling you to be quiet but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Blake was a Chelsea fan, and enjoyed joking about the Premier League with his dad, Kevin, and 15-year-old brother Brandon, who both supported Manchester United.

Blake was also a brother to Mia, 11, and Macie, seven, and had been in a relationship with his girlfriend Lily, 16, for more than a year.

He had played football for Norman Wanderers, Costessey Jets and Wroxham, and he was in the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (CSF) junior football programme from Under 9s to Under 13s.

Mourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at  Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: ArchantMourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: Archant

He and Brandon had also joined Norwich’s World Association of Wrestling together.

At the service, songs including I’ll Be Missing You and See You Again were played.

A poem called The Family Chain was read out, as were two versions of the Lord’s Prayer - the traditional version and a special football-themed version.

Mourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at  Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: ArchantMourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: Archant

Mourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: ArchantMourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: Archant

Mourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at  Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: ArchantMourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: Archant

Mourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: ArchantMourners gathered for a social distanced service in memory of Blake Hale at Sprowstron Sports & Social Club. Pictures: Archant

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