A young man whose life was cut tragically short was remembered as kind-hearted, generous, and affectionate at his funeral yesterday.
Stranton Grange Crematorium was packed as family and friends of Connor McDade attended a celebration and thanksgiving for his life.
Connor, who lived at Seaton Carew, died in hospital a week after he was hit by a car near the Tyne Bridge while on a night out in Newcastle last month.
Guests were asked to wear odd socks in tribute to Connor’s motto that “life’s too short for matching socks”.
A lone Scottish piper played before the service which was led by Volney Ham-Ying.
He said: “Connor has been described to me as a friendly outgoing people person. A good listener, a good confidant to family and friends.
“He was someone who looked on the brighter side of life, not someone who let things get him down.
“He was well liked and certainly the numbers present at the service testify to that.
“He was generous, affectionate, kind-hearted and willing to put himself out to help anyone.”
Connor’s brother John read a poem written by one of the nurses that cared for Connor in hospital.
It talked about how he was loved by so many and ended with the touching line “we must make sure to look up to the moon each night because Connor will be there with a smile so bright.”
Connor’s family expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the staff at the RVI for their care and compassion, as well as the ambulance service, police, and friends who stayed with Connor after the accident.
Instead of flowers the family asked that people contributed to a collection for the RVI hospital.
Connor, a Celtic fan, had many interests including going to the gym, watching live music and playing snooker and video games.
As a special treat for his 21st birthday his family arranged for him to meet world heavyweight champion boxer Anthony Joshua.
He was also well known for his healthy appetite. A plaque in the Travellers Rest pays tribute to his ability to master its Meat Eaters Challenge.
As a youngster Connor enjoyed karate winning six trophies before injury.
He gained an NVQ after completing an apprenticeship as a bricklayer at Hartlepool College of Further Education. Representatives from the college were at the service.
But family always came first. Mr Ham-Ying said: “It was always family that Connor remained proudest of.”