In the pink for tragic Rob

PINK ARMY: Robert Tepper's devastated pals form his guard of honour to the church. The picture gallery also shows Robert with his pal Jono and "that" jumper, which friends had fashioned into a wreath; the funeral procession arriving at Mexborough Church and Robert's coffing leaving the church.

PINK ARMY: Robert Tepper's devastated pals form his guard of honour to the church. The picture gallery also shows Robert with his pal Jono and "that" jumper, which friends had fashioned into a wreath; the funeral procession arriving at Mexborough Church and Robert's coffing leaving the church.

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Teenage death crash victim Robert Tepper was given a funeral to remember as his devastated pals donned pink – the colour of his favourite jumper – to pay their last respects.

Scott was involved in a head-on crash at Adwick Road.

There were so many mourners that the service had to be relayed on speakers to a crowd gathered outside the door.

Moments earlier, Church Street had fallen silent as mourners lined the street to watch Robert’s coffin arrive – led by an undertaker who walked in front of the hearse, and followed by the teenager’s closest family and former school friends, scores of whom were clad in pink jumpers.

In pouring rain, they entered the church at noon – to the strains of R Kelly singing The World’s Greatest.

Sobbing and holding hands they formed a rank of pink at the back of the church as Mexborough Vicar, Fr David Wise told them: “It is “heartwarming to see so many people at church for Bobby”.

Just one hymn, Amazing Grace, was sung before Mr Wise told the mourners that Robert’s family “had suffered a very bitter blow”.

Mr Wise continued: “Our hearts go out to Tracey, Steven, Lauren, Danny and Charlotte, and also to Robert’s many friends”.

Born in Sheffield, Robert first lived at Lower Dolcliffe Road at Mexborough, attending Pitt Street School then Mexborough Comprehensive, where he was both sociable and popular, said Mr Wise.

He said Robert had had many friends, and spoke of the strong influence of both his grandads. One had shown him how to tend an allotment, while the other would read him stories”.

Later, Robert became keen on fishing, and at the age of 11 joined the Ferryboat Fishing Club, from whence his interest grew. He went on fishing trips, including to Scotland and Holland.

He lived life to the full, said the vicar, adding that Robert’s other great passion was “anything to do with wheels”.

Robert graduated from a pushbike to a quad bike, then a motor bike and a scooter at 16 – when, said the vicar, he had an accident that “left him in hospital and his machine smashed to bits”.

For his 17th birthday, he had driving lessons and owned a car immediately after passing his test. He was able to drive to his job as an apprentice plumber, Mr Wise added.

Robert’s relationship with Lauren Birkett “helped him to mature from a boy to a young man” said the vicar, adding: “Bobby’s sociable nature meant he kept in touch with his many friends”.

Mr Wise said: “The family appreciate your support and comfort through their darkest days.

“The warmth shown has given them strength to carry on... they can’t thank you enough”.

The vicar’s final message, before the huge congregation left the dim church for the sunshine now blazing outside, was to look forward to “that realm where pain and sorrow is ended, all is light and joy and peace...”

I’ll be Missing You, by Puff Daddy and the Family, accompanied the solemn exodus from church.

Tears rolled down the cheeks of the pink-clad kids who left in a linked, supportive chain of hands for Mexborough Cemetery, where pals hugged and cried at the graveside.

Afterwards, the pink throng made its way to the nearby Athletic Club for an “open wake” in Robert’s honour.