Little footballers wiped tears from their eyes as they formed a Guard of Honour at the funeral of their eight-year-old team mate Callum Morrow.
St Peter’s Church in Lurgan was packed to capacity for the funeral of the little boy who was killed in a car crash near Banbridge on Saturday afternoon.
A priest at the football-mad youngster’s Requiem Mass described the intense grief of his family and friends following the tragedy in which his father and brother were injured.
A woman in another vehicle remains in hospital with serious injuries following the crash on the Aughnacloy Road.
Parish Priest Canon Liam Stevenson said: “We are gathered in large numbers to commend the soul of a child, Callum Morrow, to the Lord.
“There are many broken hearts in the congregation. Family members and friends of Callum trying to put some sort of meaning to what happened.
“There are many broken hearts who need to be bound up,” he said adding that Callum’s family are ‘really struggling with this huge loss’.
Canon Stevenson said Callum’s brother James (6) was ‘bravely nursing’ a broken shoulder and his father Stephen Brennan had been released from hospital on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday despite his injuries.
“We pray their physical injuries will heal,” he said, adding that the mental trauma for the whole family will take time to heal.
Canon Stevenson said Callum joined Carrick Nursery School aged four and would have been going into Year Five of Carrick Primary School in September. “Unfortunately this can’t now happen,” he added.
He said Callum had many celebrations throughout his life - most recently making his First Confession and his First Holy Communion on June 16 in St Paul’s Church.
“He was sports mad - a fervent Liverpool supporter and played soccer with the Lurgan Celtic grassroots team who provided a Guard of Honour for his funeral,” he said.
“He loved his Play Station and he also loved reading. His favourite author was David Walliams,” he said.
The priest described Callum as a boy with lots of ambition who wanted to be a marine biologist. He said this was most likely inspired by his grandparents home on the shores of Lough Neagh.
Callum’s little six-year-old brother James, his arm in a sling, joined other young children to help carry offertory gifts to the altar.
Canon Stevenson said Callum’s mum, dad and families wanted to thank the entire community for their help, support and love over the past few days.