HUNDREDS of children turned out to pay their respects to a fellow pupil known for his “cheeky grin”.

The family of Brad Baldwin, 16, who suffered from muscular dystrophy, say they were left overwhelmed by the turnout from pupils and teachers from Basildon Upper Academy, in Wickford Avenue.

Brad’s school pals lined the street to say goodbye, as 36 cars slowly drove in procession towards Pitsea Cemetery where he was laid to rest on Thursday.

His mum Lisa O’Flynn, 33, who now lives in Romford, said: “Brad would have been amazed at the turnout. I am sure he was looking down with his cheeky grin smiling, it felt like we were royalty for a day.

“Although he was in a wheelchair, Brad was very focused on doing a career using his artistic skills. He was so clever and amazing. We were really close and he would talk to me about everything.

“He was also famous for his pet tarantula Bubbles who lived at the school. We bought the spider for him so he could feel independent and give him something to take care of.

“He named the spider after Bubbles the monkey which Michael Jackson had because he was also a huge fan of his music.”

Brad dreamed of becoming an architect or engineer and was a huge Manchester United fan.

He was working towards his Btec and GCSEs in the summer.

Lisa added: “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who turned out to say goodbye to Brad.

“We are relieved we could finally lay him to rest.”

He was at his grandmother Joan Lee’s house, in Whitmore Way, Basildon, when he started to feel unwell on January 14.

He called his mum to say he wasn’t feeling well and paramedics were called, but sadly Brad died that evening.

An inquest will take place in due course where the family will be given an official cause of death.

The Basildon Upper Academy put on a memorial afternoon for Brad’s family after the funeral where they watched a documentary made in tribute to him by fellow pupils.