Photo gallery: North Walsham family’s Mickey Mouse final farewell to little Ryan Wright

Family, including mum Hayley, dad Darren and brother Keenan, nine, follow Ryan Wright's coffin into

Family, including mum Hayley, dad Darren and brother Keenan, nine, follow Ryan Wright's coffin into North Walsham Parish Church .PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Family and friends wearing Mickey Mouse costumes gathered at North Walsham Parish Church this morning for the funeral of little Ryan Wright.

Ryan, 22 months, died earlier this month after battling for most of his short life with the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma. Mickey had been his favourite toy.

Ryan's parents, Hayley and Darren Wright, had requested that the service, conducted by Rev Canon Derek Earis, Vicar of North Walsham, should be for family and close friends only and it was attended by between 30 and 40 people.

The couple, from Fairview Road, North Walsham, both arrived at the church wearing Mickey Mouse red shorts, ears and yellow shoes.

The funeral procession had made its way slowly through the rain-soaked Market Place to the church.

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An official mourner walked in front of the hearse which carried Ryan's small, white coffin together with a large Mickey Mouse floral tribute and another spelling the word 'Son'.

The congregation was addressed by family friend, the entertainer Ev Boothby, who spoke about Ryan's spirit and character.

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Mrs Wright had bravely read a poem about a mother whose son dies, and there had been two hymns: Memories Sad and Beautiful, sung to the tune of All Things Bright and Beautiful, and Jesus Friend of Little Children, according to Mr Boothby.

'The funeral was very beautiful and moving. Hayley managed to read a very appropriate poem so that we could all hear the words,' he added.

Afterwards Ryan was buried in North Walsham cemetery. A Mickey Mouse headstone, funded by donations, is planned to mark his grave.

Mr Boothby is applying for charity status for an organisation he has launched called Ryan's Wish.

It aims to raise enough money for a centre to be built in North Walsham where neuroblastoma victims and their families can enjoy a break and receive counselling. Proceeds from a series of variety shows organised by Mr Boothby will go to the cause. The next is at Holt Community Centre tomorrow at 7pm.

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