Mourners gather to say farewell to Romford swimmer

HUNDREDS of people gathered to say goodbye to a former swimmer who died after a four-year battle with leukaemia.

Close to 400 people said a final farewell to David Jacobs, who was just 22 when he passed away last month.

Mourners gathered at the house he shared with his parents Jan and David in Moorland Close, Collier Row, before walking a horse-drawn carriage carrying his coffin to the nearby Ascension Church.

Mrs Jacobs, 55, said: “It was obviously a sad day but I think everyone was also celebrating David’s life. “The procession was a mark of respect for David.”

During the church service Michael Jackson’s Smile was played, and those attending also sang the hymn I am Special Because God Loved Me.

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Songs played included Ellie Goulding’s version of Your Song, which David and his fiancee Jamie Butler had chosen to have played at their wedding.

The couple, who were together for more than four years, only got engaged six months ago while David was in hospital.

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His parents also chose the songs Bound for the Reload, by Oxide and Neutrino, and Toot It and Boot It by N Dubz, which were played at the crematorium.

Mrs Jacobs said: “David’s nickname was Reload, and he used to do a little dance to the Oxide and Neutrino song, so we felt that was a good choice.

“And him and Jamie used to sing Toot It and Boot It to each other.”

David was a keen swimmer and had taken part in dozens of competitions by the time he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The funeral was held on February 25.

Mrs Jacobs said: “I want to thank all our family and friends for making it such a lovely day in memory of David.

“The funeral directors, Co-Operative in North Street, Romford, were absolutely fantastic because they allowed us to do what we wanted to do.”

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