THOUSANDS of people gathered to remember inspirational schoolboy Micky Bennett who died in his mother’s arms with his final words “I love you”.

On Friday the 12-year-old’s family, and about 2,000 people, gathered for the funeral of the Basildon boy who died from Leukaemia after touching the hearts of so many.


Team - Micky with mum Lisa and dad Dave


Turnout - 2,000 people turned out to say goodbye to Micky


Crowds - guests were asked to wear red

Micky bravely fought Acute T-Cell Lymphoma, his efforts gaining the respect of rapper Stormzy and England captain Harry Kane among others.

Micky, a talented motocross rider, was seen off along the funeral procession route from Dagenham to Rippleside Cemetery in Barking by a fleet of bikers.

Roads were closed by marshals to help them make their way safely behind the white horses and carriage taking him to his final destination.

Those who attended were asked to wear Micky’s favourite colour, red.

Mum Lisa, said: “It was the strangest thing but it was all about Micky.

“Around 2,000 people came – it was crazy, just phenomenal, but everyone was so respectful.

“Knowing how many people loved him was just powerful .

“Everyone was just cheering all day – clapping and chanting. Micky wouldn’t have wanted anyone to be sad.

“I held the tears back for him because Micky wasn’t a sad child, he was always smiling and that’s how we wanted to honour him.

“I am quite a private person so it was so hard opening up the way we did but we have let so many people into our lives throughout this journey that we had to open the gates and let people in.”

Micky began his battle with the life changing disease in July 2018 and managed to recover.

But the fight took its toll and Micky ended up in intensive care having contracted a virus.

Unfortunately, doctors could not get the infection under control leaving Micky struggling to breath. After no more could be done, Micky’s parents made the decision to take him home to say goodbye on April 13.

She said: “It didn’t seem right for him to be all alone in intensive care so we decided to take him home.

“The last words he said was ‘I love you’ and he took his last breath. He died in my arms.”

Lisa still wants to urge as many people as possible to register to the stem cell donor list and wants to see more lodges in place for family’s to have a break with their sick child away from hospital.

She added: “Micky’s memory will live on in everyone.

“Micky always brought everyone together.

“I’ve always said it takes two to make a child but a community to raise one and the funeral just goes to show the truth in that.”


Remember - the order of service for Micky's funeral


Final journey - Micky's coffin was carried by horse and carriage


#FightlikeMicky - floral dedications to the youngster


Procession - riders rode behind the carriage


Echo comment

Some people live for many years but do very little while others are only on the earth for a short time but contribute so much.

Micky Bennett was one of the latter.

The smiling, happy and inspirational 12-year-old fulfilled the essence of the old adage it is not the days in your life but the life in your days that matters.

He was cruelly taken away too early and nothing can ever change that but when 2,000 people come to your funeral you know you have made a difference.

Micky will live on in the hearts, minds and memories of all those who attended and all those who have followed his fight on these pages.

Nobody who hasn’t lost a child could ever understand the heartache and hopefully, for most of us, we never will.

But for Micky’s parents they also feel a deep sense of pride.

Mum Lisa has bravely chronicled his story, giving us an insight into his life.

By sharing him she has helped inspire so many.

The family are an example of human beings at their finest.

When the worst happens it can bring out the best in us and it brought out the best in them all with Micky leading the way like he always did on his motorcross bike.

Just like it brought out the best in so many of those who completed the marathon on Sunday.

So many had their personal stories, so many had felt heartache and decided to do something to help others as a result. It is easy to be cynical but it is so much better to be inspirational.