FAMILY and friends gathered to pay tribute at the funeral of York teenager Lewis Thornton, who died this week.

Lewis, 19, had brain cancer as a child and again as a teenager, and died last week, after suffering from secondary pneumonia since December.

About 80 people attended the service at St Edward The Confessor Church in Tadcaster Road yesterday.

The coffin – with a floral tribute spelling out “son” – was brought to the church in a horse-drawn hearse from the home of Lewis’s mother, Rebecca, and brothers Troy, Ceejay and Marcus in Teacher Avenue. Poems were read by Fazana Gursoy, a friend of Lewis’s mother, along with a message from Lewis.

In it, Lewis said: “It was beautiful as long as it lasted, the journey of my life.

“I have no regrets whatsoever, only the people I leave behind.”

Paul Evans, of The Lodge residential home in Hemingbrough, where Lewis died, told the service Lewis had been much loved by staff and residents.

He said: “Lewis arrived at The Lodge softly spoken but it didn’t take long before he settled in.

“He was soon using his cheeky smile and unique sense of humour to win over the staff. Lewis had won the hearts of the staff.”

David Ellis, head teacher at York High School, said two members of staff who worked closely with Lewis during his time at the school had attended the service.

Mr Ellis said: “Lewis was a young man who was an inspiration to both the staff and pupils at York High School and Oaklands School prior to the merger in 2007.

“Life presented Lewis with many challenges but he faced up to them with determination and good humour. He was a thoughtful and caring young man and he was a genuinely well-liked personality within school.”

Donations were taken for the children’s and teenage units Lewis often visited, and wristbands were handed out to promote brain cancer awareness.

The Rev Martin Baldock told the service: “Lewis’s last gift to us, apart from a wristband, is the reminder that life is fragile, that the life we are living is a precious gift that won’t go on forever. You only get one go at it, so make the most of it.”