Grief stricken family say their goodbyes to Robbie Smith, 19

Robbie Smith's coffin is taken into St. Oswald's Church followed by members of his family
Robbie Smith's coffin is taken into St. Oswald's Church followed by members of his family

MORE than 100 mourners gathered at a funeral service to celebrate the life of a tragic arts and music student.

Talented Robbie Smith was found dead in his home by his father on Friday, March 14 – the day after his 19th birthday.

Flowers for Robbie Smith

Flowers for Robbie Smith

Yesterday, his devastated family and friends packed into St Oswald’s Church, in Brougham Terrace, for the service held by Father Graeme Buttery.

The Hartlepool Sixth Form College student was carried into the church in a coffin adorned with a cross of white, blue and purple flowers.

The vicar conducted a reading on behalf of Robbie’s relatives which revealed that when he was a baby he had a brain tumour removed and it left him with epilepsy.

It read: “Robbie was such a wonderful, caring person who was loved by so many people, family and friends alike.

“When Robbie was a baby he had a brain tumour removed. This left him with epilepsy which made life very hard at times.”

Father Buttery went on to talk about his strong bonds with family members and the love, time and effort he put into his art work and music.

The letter also read that Robbie’s death “has left a hole in all our hearts and left such an amazing footprint on all of our lives.

“He is now our angel, spreading his wings over us all. We love you with all of our hearts and souls.”

A friend of Robbie’s stood up before the congregation and read a poem, part of which read: “When you are walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind, I’m walking on your footsteps, I’m only half a step behind.”

Towards the end of the service, the song father and Son by Cat Stevens – which meant a lot to Robbie and his dad, Bob Smith, 51, a former joiner – was played.

The teenager had celebrated his birthday with his dad on Thursday, March 13, with the pair enjoying a pizza and a couple of drinks at home.

But the following afternoon, on Friday, March 14, Bob returned home to find his son had died in his bed.

A post mortem examination has not been able to establish the cause of Robbie’s tragic death, so some of his organs have been sent to specialists in London and Newcastle to try to give his grief-stricken family some answers.