WITH their heads bowed, hundreds of friends packed into a Sunderland church for the funeral of popular teen Shane Sloan.
The mourners gathered at All Saints’ Church, Penshaw, to bid a final farewell to the 18-year-old who died after a car crash in Washington.
Leading the procession into the church was Shane’s mum Caron, 47, who clung on to his sister Sam, 21, for support.
She was followed by Shane’s coffin that was draped with flowers and red roses.
Respecting the family’s wishes, friends arrived in casual clothing, with some clutching skateboards in tribute to the talented skater who practised the sport daily.
Many of his friends had to listen to the service from outside the church.
Reverend Steven Osmond led the service, reading out scores of touching tributes from pals, who described him as “popular”, “a legend” and “best friend”.
Words from sister Sam and step-dad Dave, who described Shane as “the perfect son” were also read, followed by a poem from Caron.
Laughter broke the sobs that could be heard throughout the church as Rev Osmond retold tales of Shane, who was nicknamed Shorty, in the words of his friends.
Rev Osmond said: “What strikes me here is the number of friends who wanted to say something about Shane.”
He added: “Parents should never have to bury their children.”
At the end of the service, people were invited to leave a donation towards Oxclose and District Young People’s Project, which is raising money to build a memorial in his memory at Princess Anne skate park in Washington.
Pals are also campaigning to have its name changed to Shorty’s Park.
The former Biddick School pupil lost his fight for life five days after losing control of the car he was driving round a corner in Mount Pleasant.
He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where friends and family waited desperately at his bedside, but he died on Wednesday, May 18.
Shane was about to graduate from Hylton Road College where he had been studying mechanics.
He planned on working at his step-dad’s Bishop Auckland garage, which he hoped to run one day.
A music event at Princess Anne park will also be held in his memory in July with all funds raised going towards the memorial.
Friends and family have also launched a petition calling for the speed limit to be cut from 60mph to 30mph along the stretch of road where Shane crashed.