Family and friends say farewell at funeral of tragic five-year-old

Tyler Whelan's funeral at St Anne's Church in Beech Hill
Tyler Whelan's funeral at St Anne's Church in Beech Hill

THE MOTHER of a five-year-old boy who died after collapsing at home had to be carried out of church after she broke down following his funeral.

Around 100 friends and family paid tribute to tragic youngster Tyler Whelan (pictured right) during an emotional service at St Anne’s Church in Beech Hill.

Tyler’s mum Stephanie Whelan, who has been charged with causing or allowing her son’s death, was able to attend the funeral after a judge released her on conditional bail.

But she had to be carried out of church by family members at the end of the service in distress.

Neighbours stood still as the coffin was brought to St Anne’s Church on a carriage headed by a white horse. The simple white coffin was topped with a floral tribute reading “son”.

Coloured balloons were attached to cars and many of the mourners wore an item of pink clothing.

The service, conducted by the Reverend Jane Bury, featured the hymns All Things Bright and Beautiful, Give Me Joy in My Heart and One More Step.

Addressing the congregation, Rev Bury said: “Tyler was fun-loving and full of life.”

Family tributes recalled Tyler calling his grandmother “Nanny McPhee”, after the hit film starring Emma Thompson.

And in a written message to his son, Tyler’s dad said: “Though they’ve taken you, you will always be with me.”

The tiny coffin was led out of the church to the theme music from Tyler’s favourite television series, Gummi Bears. The service was followed by a private committal at Wigan Crematorium.

A death notice published in the Wigan Evening Post this week told how Tyler was “a much loved son and grandson” who would be “very sadly missed by all who knew him”.

Tyler’s family announced the funeral would be held in Wigan, where his grandmother lives and where his mum has been bailed to.

Little Tyler was found unconscious at a house in Crabtree, Peterborough, on March 7 and later died in hospital.

His mother, Stephanie, 26, and her partner, Elvis Lee, 33, have since both been charged with causing or allowing the youngster’s death.

Following Tyler’s tragic death, neighbours and friends of the family placed flowers and cards outside his home and pupils at Tyler’s primary school, who were offered counselling, created a special star in his honour.