Hartlepool town centre was brought to a stand still as hundreds of people gathered to say an emotional farewell to little Jacob Jenkins.
Dressed in black and white and many wearing yellow ribbons, hundreds took their place within the church to celebrate his short life and to pay their last respects.
There wasn’t a dry eye during the service held to celebrate the life of the beloved son of David Jenkins and Abigail Wilson.
In a heartbreaking tribute to the two-year-old his devastated parents described him as “the most gorgeous, cheeky, funny little character” who had the “biggest heart of gold.”
Mammy and daddy love you so much baby. Be a good boy up there son.David Jenkins
jacob arrived at the church in a white horsedrawn carriage, where a guard of honour was given by superheroes Spiderman and Iron Man.
The emotional service, led by Father Michael Griffiths with readings by Father Sean Purdy, Chaplin from the Royal Victoria Infirmary where Jacob had been treated, began with the lighting of a candle given to Jacob at his baptism two years ago.
As it burned brightly at the side of his coffin which displayed images of Iron Man, a moving tribute from his dad was read, by Father Griffiths, talking of his love for his son and promising he would hold him in his thoughts every second of every day.
It said: “I’m going to miss your cheeky little face running into our bedroom early on a morning, curling up with us and watching match of the day, screaming like crazy people every time someone would score.
“Mammy and daddy love you so much baby. Be a good boy up there son.”
The service included the hymns ‘Be still and know I am with you’ by Anne Conway and ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ by Sebastian Temple, based on the Prayer of St Francis of Assisti.
Meanwhile outside, crowds gathered to line York Road and as Jacob passed on the final journey to his resting place, hundreds released yellow balloons in a lasting tribute to the toddler.
Jacob captured the hearts of the people of Hartlepool and throughout the world after being rushed to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after choking on a grape in the town’s Pizza Hut.
He was placed in an induced coma but lost his fight for days later.
The youngster passed away in his parents arms as thousands held him in their thoughts as they released yellow balloons on the beach at Seaton Carew.
Dad’s moving tribute that was read out during the service:
I always thought I knew what love was until the day you were born and I held you in my arms for the first time.
I saw those big blue eyes looking back at me and it was then that I realised the meaning of love.
You made our little family complete, there wasn’t a day that would go by that we wouldn’t tell you how much we loved you.
Even though we did a lot together in your short life it’s the little things I’m going to miss the most. Like when you made sure you would wave me off every time I had to go to work or when you would come running down the path when I got home.
I’m going to miss your cheeky little face running into our bedroom early on a morning curling up with us and watching Match of the Day screaming like crazy people every time someone would score.
I don’t know how I’m going to carry on without you, but I can promise you that you will be in our thoughts every second of every day.
Mammy and daddy love you so much baby.
Be a good boy up there son.