‘YOU WERE MY SOULMATE AND MY ABSOLUTE PRIDE AND JOY’
Dad pays moving tribute at funeral of ‘murdered’ teenager
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.