BEAMING parents Gary and Sue Spence said their son made them “proud” after keeping his nerve with the eyes of the world watching.
As millions of people watched around the world, Corporal Carl Spence’s family in Hartlepool were also tuning in to see their son help carry the coffin of Baroness Thatcher into St Paul’s Cathedral, in London, for the service.
Dad Gary, 53, who works for Tata Steel, and mum Sue, 53, a newsagent worker, watched the funeral from their home in Spalding Road, alongside Cpl Spence’s brother Gary, 32, and 24-year-old sister Jamielee, who works in a beauty shop.
Sue said: “I think I was more nervous than Carl, but he did a brilliant job.
“That is Carl all over, so laid back and takes things as they come, we are really proud.”
Gary, who made sure he stayed awake to watch his son on television after finishing his night shift, added: “The Army think a lot of him and so do we.
“We are all really proud of him, he did a great job.
“It is really strange to think just how many people must have been watching the service, but he kept his cool.”
The heroic soldier is based at Woodbridge, in Suffolk, with his wife, Jess, 25, and their two-year-old daughter, Bella, who were also glued to their television screens.
Jess said: “Carl did very well and we are all really pleased that it went well.
“Some of the pall bearers looked really hot but Carl looked cool as a cucumber.”