Tears flow as pals pay tribute to Kevin Outhwaite
HUNDREDS of mourners paid tribute yesterday to a brave cancer sufferer who raised thousands of pounds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation despite his own battle with the disease.
Kevin Outhwaite sadly lost his courageous battle with the deadly disease last week, at the age of just 36.
And hundreds of mourners packed into Sunderland Minster to celebrate the life of the fun-loving Gentoo plumber, who had raised thousands of pounds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
At his funeral yesterday, a procession of cars drove through the city, before arriving at 1.15pm.
Kevins coffin was led into the Minster to the strains of Youll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and The Pacemakers and led away to My Way by Frank Sinatra.
Rev Martin Anderson led the funeral and fondly-recalled memories of Kevin provoked emotions throughout the service.
Moving tributes were paid by Kevins friends and colleagues, which showed a man with a strong devotion to those he knew and loved.
His wife Jill, mum to Ellie, 12, had printed on the funeral order of service: You were my life, my husband, my soulmate. I will always love you.
Speaking at the service, friend Ian Gilmore said: We spent really good times together and had good nights out. I wish there could be more. I am proud to have known him and will never forget him.
Colleague John Craggs said: At 36, to have worked for one organisation for 20-years is testament to his commitment and loyalty as a proud employee.
He will be fondly missed by workmates. Kevin was the one you would run to for advice, which was always forthcoming.
He added: Quality of work and good attitude was important to Kevin, so was having a laugh with workmates. He was the life and soul of the party.
Rev Anderson said: Kevin was known to have a smile on his face and a glint in his eye. He was a man who passionately loved his football team.
He was a man with an enormous amount of passion and gave enormous amounts of time raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Kevin, a Sunderland AFC fan, became a firm friend of Sir Bobby Robson before the former England boss own death in July last year.
Kevin, of Tunstall, had been very passionate about fundraising for the football legends cancer charity, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
He was originally diagnosed with skin cancer in November 2007, which came just three weeks after his mum died of bowel cancer.
After having five operations to remove 10 tumours from his body, he decided to begin raising money.
However, as he collected a signed shirt from the football legends home, Kevin discovered another lump on his neck which was the return of the cancer.
But this didnt stop him planning a hugely successful charity event for 250 people at The Roker Hotel, in Sunderland, which raised more than s13,500.
Despite gruelling chemotherapy treatment the illness couldnt be stopped and Kevin died at home just before 10pm on Saturday, March 13.