Photo gallery: Yellow and green theme for funeral of Norwich City supporter Ben Parkin

Friends and family come together at Earlham Crematorium for the funeral of Ben Parkin.PHOTO BY SIMON

Friends and family come together at Earlham Crematorium for the funeral of Ben Parkin.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Yellow and green was the theme for the funeral of passionate Norwich City supporter Ben Parkin this afternoon.

Earlham Crematorium was packed-out for the Norwich 25-year-old's funeral, with around 50 people watching on from outside the main hall.

Team-mates from Norwich City Powerchair Football Club led a guard of honour behind a custom-made coffin, decorated to look like the grass of a football pitch, with goal nets, a football and the emblem of his beloved Norwich City.

Mr Parkin died on Sunday, May 19, after complications from a chest infection. The Community Sports Foundation (CSF) apprentice and disability rights campaigner had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare, degenerative form of the condition. Poems were read by Mr Parkin's brother, Rob, 22, and school friend Mark Varley, before a eulogy was given by his God-mother Cath Attlee.

Ms Attlee said: 'As a Norwich City supporter he travelled the country to away games, through thick and thin, whichever league the team were in, making friends among Norwich supporters all over the place.

'He could, and would, give you an analysis of the accessibility of sports grounds all over England and Wales, and the trials of being put among the home fans when access was limited.'

Ms Attlee also talked about her God-son's 'delight' at becoming a CSF apprentice, having started as a volunteer, as well as the music of Westlife being the 'ever-present soundtrack' to his life – with the Irish boy band's songs I Will Reach You and Flying Without Wings played during the service. His trips to discuss disabled rights with MPs at Westminster and work for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers were also praised.

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Ms Attlee concluded: 'Many of you will, I am sure, miss his footy-related texts during the next season, and will, like me, think of him every time you attend a Norwich City game.

'We will miss the coffee and cake, or lager and crisps, discussions about the state of the world. We will be sad, and will miss his smile, but hopefully we will be inspired to carry on his campaign for equality wherever we can.'

- For more tributes to Mr Parkin, see the links at the top-right of this page.

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