FAMILY and friends of a Wigan man who was stabbed to death have gathered to pay their final, tearful respects.
The funeral of Beech Hill 24-year-old Ian Sudworth was held on Friday at Wigan Crematorium, where loved ones assembled to celebrate his life.
As Mr Sudworth’s coffin was carried to the front of the chapel, Ed Sheeran’s Out Of Touch was played.
The intimate humanist ceremony was led by minister Peter Goulding, who recalled fond memories of the young dad, as told by his parents, Julie and Ian Snr.
He said: “Ian’s parents can look back and say there have been some good years and great memories.
“As a child he was always climbing and getting into mischief. He always had a grin on his face and he enjoyed life.
“He loved anything outdoors and loved football and occasionally watched Wigan.
“He also enjoyed his music.
“He had great ups and downs, but in his heart, he was a genuine, good lad and he fought for what was right and true.
“His parents are so proud that they got to tell him how proud they were of him.”
Mr Goulding added that Ian had one brother and five sisters and was a great father to three children he raised with girlfriend Gemma Smith.
He said: “Ian only knew one girl: Gemma.
“They had moved in together and the children meant a great deal to him.
“It was such a tragedy as he gave his life protecting the one he loved.”
The minister spoke of Mr Sudworth’s time at Shevington Community Primary School and Shevington High School and how at the age of 19 he had joined the army, but was medically discharged after he perforated his ear drum.
Mourners wept as the service ended and the coffin was taken away to the sound of No Regrets by Dappy.
Mr Sudworth suffered fatal injuries when he was stabbed outside the BP garage in Scot Lane, Marsh Green, in the early hours of Saturday, November 19.
Jonathan Marron, 21, of Stranraer Road, Marsh Green, has since been charged with his murder and also with assaulting Gemma,
He will remain in custody until February 14 when he is expected to enter his pleas.
A provisional date for his trial, expected to last between one to two weeks, was fixed to begin on April 30.