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Funeral held for popular young Norfolk man killed in crash

PUBLISHED: 17:07 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 29 October 2018

Bradley Raper who died following a collision near Thetford. Picture: supplied by Chantelle Dwyer

Bradley Raper who died following a collision near Thetford. Picture: supplied by Chantelle Dwyer

Archant

St Andrews’s Church in Bradenham was packed full as family and friends of Bradley Raper, who died at the age of 24 in a car accident near Thetford, gathered to say their goodbyes.

Friends of Bradley Raper got together to have a drink in his name. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer.Friends of Bradley Raper got together to have a drink in his name. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer.

There were not enough seats to fit everyone in as people stood at the back and front of the church to remember the popular young man who lived in Scarning, near Dereham.

Mr Raper’s best friends served as his pall-bearers, carrying in his coffin as Ellie Goulding’s rendition of ‘How Long Will I Love You’ played peacefully over the speakers.

Revd Dominique Turnham led the service and Mr Raper’s uncle Neil Greentree read a heartfelt poem before sharing details and memories of his life.

Mr Greentree said: “On May 8, 1994, Sallie was blessed with a son. His name chosen as a tribute to his mother’s birthplace (Bradenham).

Bradley Raper who died following a collision near Thetford. Picture: supplied by Chantelle DwyerBradley Raper who died following a collision near Thetford. Picture: supplied by Chantelle Dwyer

“When it came to high school, Bradley chose Neatherd. When asked why he answered ‘because Abbie (his sister) goes there and she knows where the toilets are.’

“He attended Dereham Sixth Form until 2012. His former step-father Kevin introduced Bradley to the love of football which led to him becoming a season ticket holder (at Norwich City) and following them up and down the country with Lewis (his former step-brother).

“He became a keen cricketer at the age of 10 and played for Dereham, Bradenham and also represented Norfolk. His captain was Olly Stone who now plays for England, who gave him the nickname ‘muscles’.

“He went on club nights and abroad with his friends, the only condition was that Sallie never got to see the photos.

Todd Cantwell with a shirt in memory of Bradley Raper following Norwich City's victory over Aston Villa at Carrow Road. Picture Amber Cantwell.Todd Cantwell with a shirt in memory of Bradley Raper following Norwich City's victory over Aston Villa at Carrow Road. Picture Amber Cantwell.

“In 2017, Bradley started working for Abels Moving Services, ironic because Bradley had no interest in moving out, claiming he was being ‘robbed blind’ when he had to pay £25 a week for being waited on hand and foot.

“He met his girlfriend Chantelle at Abels. So many plans were tragically cut short on October 3.

“We look forward to telling Bradley’s nieces about their uncle.”

R-Kelly’s The World’s Greatest rang around the church as Mr Raper’s coffin was carried out to the churchyard.

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