Around 700 people arrived at Swan Bank Church today to join in mourning the loss of 19-year-old Nathan Bates who was killed in Burslem on 11 October.
A month after Nathan’s death, family and friends, along with football fans from his beloved Port Vale gathered to remember a much loved teenager.
Memories were shared of Nathan amongst family and friends and prayers were sung in the solemn church.
Nathan’s favourite music was played throughout the service, featuring songs such as ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis and ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ by The Courteeners.
Nathan’s father, Andy Bates, wrote an emotional eulogy which Reverend Kathryn Stephens gave: “You were not just my son- you were my best friend, my soul mate and my absolute pride and joy.”
Andy chose to play ‘Run’ by Snow Patrol in memory of his son.
His mother, Tania Morris, chose to play Celine Dion’s ‘Because You Loved Me’.
Nathan was said to be extremely close to his father, this was clearly shown through an old family photo of Nathan and his father sleeping in the same position.
A good friend of Nathan’s, also gave a eulogy, stating that Nathan was “one of the kindest lads you would ever meet.”
Memories of Nathan’s first trip to see his football club Port Vale play for the first time were shared during eulogies, along with his many stories of his holiday in Magaluf.
Nathan’s classmates from Co-op Academy Stoke on Trent hugged each other, sharing support for their lost friend.
During the service, donations were taken for the neonatal unit at Royal Stoke University Hospital, in Nathan’s name.
Many of his friends and family were grief stricken at the funeral but laughed easily at the memories of Nathan and his mischievous ways.
At the end of the service, the large crowd in both the streets and church applauded as Nathan’s brightly coloured Port-Vale themed coffin was carried out of the church by family.
Police are treating his death as murder after 57-year-old Robert Goodwin was also found dead just two hours prior to discovering the teenager’s body.
To donate to Nathan’s funeral costs, follow this link.