Family and friends of a young Wigan man who lost his battle with cancer have paid tribute to “one of the nicest guys who ever graced this earth”.
Liam Pennington, 25, died at the end of October after fighting an aggressive form of leukaemia.
Hundreds of people gathered at St Cuthbert’s Church in Pemberton last week to say goodbye to Liam, who battled through months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and underwent a stem cell transplant in an attempt to beat the disease.
One of Liam’s closest friends, David Jackson, paid an emotional tribute saying: "I’ve lost one of my best mates, a lad I’ve known since birth and who has been a constant part of my life. Was an absolute pleasure to call you a mate and you’ll certainly always be in the my thoughts.
"You’re at peace now and back with your dad. Rest in peace, love you pal."
Another friend Alex Rimmer, said: "Gutted to hear the extremely sad news that one of the nicest guys that has ever graced this earth has sadly left it. Liam you will be forever in the hearts and minds of your family and friends."
Just last week, 14 of Liam’s nearest and dearest organised a fundraising evening at St James’ in Orrell in attempt to raise £3,000 to be split between Cancer Research UK and The Christie. The evening smashed its original target making a whopping £7,000 in one night.
One of the organisers and Liam’s close friend Matty Thomas said: "We had a raffle and a auction, prizes such as an Anthony Joshua signed glove, signed Wigan Athletic top, Sam Tomkins training vest. We had live music on too, also just had buckets all around the room to let people donate anything they had, 180 people attended. It was amazing, real group effort too, we all went to the same high school with Liam and that’s what helped us set it all up."
The former St Peter’s Catholic High School student wrote about his condition on Facebook just two weeks before he died. Liam, who received a stem cell transplant towards the end of September took to social media on October 15 to say that his kidney and liver tests were "sky high" which would seriously impact on the success of the procedure.
He signed off saying: "Without getting carried away, things are looking more optimistic today than they were on Friday without being out of the woods just yet, and they are words from my consultant."
Following the service, the family spoke on behalf of Liam’s mum, saying: "Catherine would like to thank everyone who came to pay there respects to Liam yesterday...We could all see how loved Liam was and what he meant to everyone."