‘YOU WERE MY SOUL­MATE AND MY AB­SO­LUTE PRIDE AND JOY’

Dad pays mov­ing trib­ute at fu­neral of ‘mur­dered’ teenager

The Sentinel - - NEWS - Aimi Red­fern aimi.red­fern@reach­plc.com

THE fa­ther of ‘mur­dered’ Nathan Bates has de­scribed his son as his ‘ab­so­lute pride and joy’ in a mov­ing trib­ute at the teenager’s fu­neral.

Mourn­ers packed into Swan Bank Methodist Church, in Burslem, yes­ter­day to say a fi­nal farewell to the 19-year-old.

In a trib­ute read out by the Rev­erend Kathryn Stephens, who led the ser­vice, Nathan’s dad Andy said: “From the day you were born, you have given me so much hap­pi­ness.

“These 19 years have been the best of my life, from watch­ing you grow up to the day you came out drink­ing with me. The laughs we shared are so spe­cial to me.

“You were not just my son – you were my best friend, my soul­mate and my ab­so­lute pride and joy. You brought so much hap­pi­ness to our fam­ily and your many friends.

“You showed re­spect and man­ners to all and were a lovely and car­ing son, grand­son, nephew, cousin and friend.

“I can’t put into words how proud I am of you be­ing my son. I will never be the same per­son with­out you, you will al­ways be with me wher­ever I go. I will love you into eter­nity.”

The fu­neral was held al­most a month af­ter Nathan was found dead at his mum’s home in Barn­field Road, Burslem, on Oc­to­ber 11.

His body was dis­cov­ered around two-and-a-half hours af­ter 57-yearold Robert Good­win was found hanged near al­lot­ments off Leonora Street, in Burslem.

Mr Good­win had been due to ap­pear at Stoke-on-trent Crown Court the fol­low­ing morn­ing on an as­sault charge

One of Nathan’s friends – known as Jack – read out a trib­ute on be­half of all his mates.

He told the con­gre­ga­tion: “Nathan was a top lad. Me and his boys loved him to bits. He was one of the kind­est lads you would ever meet.

“He al­ways knew what a good pint tasted like and he al­ways knew whether any­where was a good pub.

“Me and all the boys are heart­bro­ken. We are truly go­ing to miss your ginger locks in the pub on a Fri­day af­ter­noon. We miss you like mad bro.”

Ms Stephens spoke of Nathan’s love Pic­ture: Pete Stonier for his fam­ily and friends, and happy mem­o­ries of hol­i­days.

Through­out the ser­vice, spe­cial­ly­cho­sen mu­sic was played as pho­to­graphs of the Port Vale fan through­out his life were pro­jected on to screens at the front of the church.

Andy chose Run by Snow Pa­trol, while his friends picked ‘Not Nine­teen For­ever by the Cour­teen­ers and mum, Ta­nia Mor­ris, chose Ce­line Dion’s Be­cause You Loved Me.

At the end of the ser­vice, Nathan’s Port Vale-themed cof­fin was car­ried out of church to The Valiants’ an­them The Won­der of You by Elvis Pres­ley, while the con­gre­ga­tion ap­plauded.

Stafford­shire Po­lice are work­ing on the the­ory that Nathan was mur­dered, and de­tec­tives have con­firmed they are not look­ing for any­one else in con­nec­tion with the dou­ble death.

The ex­act cause of Nathan’s death is un­likely to be known for up to two months. ■ Any­one with any in­for­ma­tion about the deaths should call the po­lice on 101, quot­ing in­ci­dent num­ber 378 of Oc­to­ber 11.

FAREWELL: Mourn­ers gather out­side Swan Bank Methodist Church for the fu­neral of Port Vale fan Nathan Bates, in­set.

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