Heartfelt tributes as popular Sheffield Steelers fan and cancer suffer Amy is laid to rest

She was the brave, smiling young woman who inspired the Sheffield Steelers to play-offs glory and was ‘part of their DNA’.

And today in bright sunshine, members of the city’s ice hockey community gathered to say their last goodbyes to Amy Usher, after the brave 22-year-old, from Wath, lost her battle with cancer.

The former forensic psychology student passed away at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield on Thursday, March 19, following a two-year battle with a rare form of incurable throat cancer.

Amy, was a huge fan of the Sheffield Steelers, and won many friends at the club through the courage she showed while fighting her illness.

Hundreds of mourners including past and present Steelers’ players, gathered at St Margaret’s Church in Swinton for her funeral.

Many were dressed in bright colours - orange to represent the Steelers and purple, Amy’s favourite colour.

Funeral of Steelers fan and cancer victim Amy Usher at St Margaret's Church in Swinton. Steelers players carry Amy's coffin into the church. The pall bearers were players Jason Hewitt, Mark Thomas, Rob Dowd, Ben O'Connor, Phil Hill and Jonathan Phillips.  Picture by Dean Atkins

Funeral of Steelers fan and cancer victim Amy Usher at St Margaret's Church in Swinton. Steelers players carry Amy's coffin into the church. The pall bearers were players Jason Hewitt, Mark Thomas, Rob Dowd, Ben O'Connor, Phil Hill and Jonathan Phillips. Picture by Dean Atkins

Her coffin was carried into the church by pallbearers and Steelers players Jason Hewitt, Mark Thomas, Rob Dowd, Ben O’Connor, Phil Hill and Jonathan Phillips to One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful.

The white coffin was followed by her parents Pat and Angela, and her older sister, Beth.

In an emotional service Dave Simms from the Steelers told mourners Amy was ‘unforgettable’ with her ‘infectious and inspirational character’ and, along with Beth, had become the club’s good luck charm.

Her visits to the club coincided with the team’s upturn in form, and Dave spoke about how Amy had inspired the team to become play-off champions in 2014 – just months after attending her first game.

Funeral of Steelers fan and cancer victim Amy Usher at St Margarets Church in Swinton'Picture by Dean Atkins

Funeral of Steelers fan and cancer victim Amy Usher at St Margarets Church in Swinton'Picture by Dean Atkins

Both Amy and Beth were invited by the players to become part of the club’s victory celebrations.

He said: “She was the reason we won. She had become a part of Steelers’ DNA.”

He added: “Amy’s name will continue to live on with the Steelers from now until the end of time. People will chant her name on the 21st minute of each game.”

Twenty one was Amy’s favourite number and her favourite Steelers player wears the number 21 shirt. She was also born on 21st.

Dave added: “Amy was a special person. There isn’t a chance on earth she will ever be forgotten for the simple reason, she won’t allow us to. We will miss you Princess Amy.”

During the service Beth, paid tribute to her ‘perfect little sister,’ who remained ‘determined and strong’ throughout her illness.

She said the pair did everything together and her death would leave the ‘biggest hole in her life’.

Shona Tutin, from Weston Park Hospital’s teenage cancer trust, had the congregation in laughter when she shared stories of Amy at the unit.

The funeral was followed by a short service at Rotherham Crematorium.