Funeral tributes to ‘everybody’s friend’

Toni Allison

Toni Allison

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HEARTBROKEN family and friends said their final goodbyes to a much-loved Wearside teenager who died suddenly.

Mourners packed Sunderland Crematorium’s chapel for the funeral of popular 17-year-old Toni Allison, who was described as “everybody’s friend”.

The bubbly young woman, from Grindon, died in Middlesbrough town centre last week after a day out with pals.

In keeping with Toni’s family’s request, mourners attended in bright and colourful clothes, which it was hoped would make the service as much of a celebration of her life as possible.

She leaves behind mum Sue, 51, sister Kelly, 27, and nephews Alfie, three, and Harry, eight.

Kelly and friend Lynzie Cook, were among those who read out tributes to the City of Sunderland College student and A690 Youth Project volunteer.

The Reverend Janette Blakemore, who led the service, spoke of Toni’s popularity among the community and her good deeds as a friend.

She said: “Toni was a much-loved daughter, sister, amazing aunty, best mate and friend.

“Her beautiful life has come to an end.

“She died as she lived, everybody’s friend.”

Toni’s family were also invited to light five candles in her memory during the service.

A selection of the former Broadway Junior School pupil’s favourite songs were played throughout, including Mockingbird by Eminem, and Perfect by Pink.

Carla Cuthbertson, of the A690 Youth Project, said that Toni had a lasting impact on the group from working as a volunteer.

“We all remember the first time we met Toni,” said Carla.

“She had a magical aura and a great sense of humour. She was the kind of person that made everybody laugh.”

After the service, family and friends joined to remember Toni at the Gleneagles pub, in Grindon.

More than 1,200 people have visited a Facebook group in her honour, called RIP Toni Allison, Never Forgotten, with many leaving heartfelt messages.

Sophie Victoria McGeorge wrote: “Thinking of your family and especially your mam Sue.

“Rest In Peace and shine on Toni.”

An inquest will take place into the cause of her death.

Twitter: @davidallison88