IT was standing room only as hundreds of family and friends said farewell to schoolgirl Amy Kirkby at Sprotbrough Parish Church.
At least 300 people attended the Ridgewood School pupil’s funeral, just a fortnight after she died as the result of collapsing in the bathroom while taking a shower.
A moving tribute from her mum, Joanne, placed on a floral tribute stated: “You will be forever in my heart and you were the most beautiful girl I ever met.”
A message from 10-year-old younger sister Lucy added: “I love you and I always will.”
Police were on hand to ensure a clear path for the cortege as it arrived at St Mary’s Church from Amy’s home in Brompton Road.
Her ivory coloured coffin was followed into church by her parents, Simon and Joanne, who were holding the hands of her sister, Lucy.
Many of Amy’s schoolfriends attended the service, which was led by the Rector of Sprotbrough, the Rev Tony Sophianou.
Afterwards the cortege left for a cremation at Rose Hill while other mourners made their way to Sprotbrough Country Club for a celebration of Amy’s life.
Her family are also hoping to create an art prize to keep her memory alive.
Amy’s mum said the family is still in shock, but looking at setting up a memorial fund.
She said her 15-year-old daughter, who was a talented artist, had received a letter before she died telling her she had been nominated for an art prize.
She said: “I opened the letter from the school, and I was worried that she had been in some bother when I first picked it up!
“But it said she should feel very proud for her efforts.
“Sadly, she will not win the prize now. Tragically, Amy can’t carry on with her art.
“But we’d love to do something to continue her memory by encouraging others to carry on with what Amy loved. Amy was great - she was brilliant.”
The family is also looking at collecting money to donate to charities which helped Amy when she collapsed, including Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and there was a collection at her funeral.
The family also plans to set up a Just Giving website page in her memory.
Mrs Kirkby said there was also talk of an orange tree being planted at her school, Ridgewood, in a nod to Amy’s bright red hair.
The family still do not what caused Amy’s death.
Meanwhile, the family’s electrical retail business, Boylans, on Central Terrace, Edlington, has become a shrine to Amy.
The shop, run by Joanne’s brother Michael Boylan, has been inundated with cards and flowers which are being placed in the shop window in tribute. Joanne also works there.
Mr Boylan said: “There are hundreds of flowers and cards which have been brought in.
“Our mum and dad ran the shop for 43 years, and people who know them look and see they have lost a granddaughter. People have been really supportive. The response has been quite overwhelming and humbling.”