Bishop's Castle turns red as town says farewell to Dylan Price

Tears flowed but smiles were also on the faces of hundreds of wellwishers who turned a town red to say a fond goodbye to a popular teenager killed in a suspected hit and run.

The funeral of Dylan Price was held in Bishop's Castle after the teenager died in a suspected hit-and-run
The funeral of Dylan Price was held in Bishop's Castle after the teenager died in a suspected hit-and-run

Dylan Price, from Bishop's Castle, is believed to have been struck by a vehicle before he died in the early hours of September 19 - the day before his 18th birthday.

On Saturday many wore red in a united outpouring of grief and lined the town centre streets to say farewell to him and show their support to his grief-stricken family.

Dylan played rugby for Bishop’s Castle & Onny Valley Rugby Club and the community were asked to wear an item of red clothing, representing his passion for the sport.

Dylan Price died the day before his 18th birthday
Hundreds of mourners lined the streets of the town

The service was led by the Rev Stephanie Fountain who urged the community to remember the 17-year-old for his "kindness" and the happy memories he left behind, despite people feeling angry, "shocked and confused" over the circumstances of his passing.

The eulogy was read by rugby club stalwart Henry Wilson who said the events of recent weeks had Dylan's family and the wider community with "unanswered questions".

"There is a sense of loss and of a sense of injustice which may stay with us for the rest of our lives.

"But this is a day to celebrate Dylan as we knew him."

Flowers in Dylan's memory
Wreaths included a rugby shirt from Dylan's former club Shrewsbury

Mr Wilson said the teen was "a happy-go-lucky" young man with a "cheeky smile".

He urged his family to take comfort in the fact that the sportsman "meant a lot to so many".

"We all have a sense of duty to make sure Dylan's memory lives on". He added: "Today is a chance to celebrate his successes, his achievements and that brilliant smile."

The pallbearers wore Welsh rugby shirts, with everyone asked to wear something red
The cortege in Bishop's Castle
The cortege arrives at St John the Baptist Church

His cortege arrived at 11.45am outside the Kings Head pub, in Church Street, featuring a hearse carrying his coffin with a simple green and maroon wreath on top, followed by a green off-road buggy carrying more wreaths and photographs of him.

The wreaths included red and green flowers bearing the letters of his name and a rugby shirt from his former team Shrewsbury Rugby Club, while 10 of his closest family members followed behind on foot, arms round each other or holding hands.

There was a brief pause as his father and five other pallbearers - all wearing red Wales rugby shirts with the name 'Dylan' printed on the back - lifted the lime oak coffin to their shoulders and carried it the rest of the short journey into the town's St John the Baptist Church in nearby Church Lane.

Family members walked behind a buggy carrying wreaths and photographs
Pallbearers enter the church

Paying tribute at the service, his father Darren Price and older sisters Isabelle and Livvi all read poems in the teenager's memory.

Mr Price spoke of his great pride for Dylan, saying: "I held your hand when you were small, watched you grow, standing tall - become a man. You may have gone, but you're still in our hearts - there my boy, we will never part."

His sister Isabelle said: "You were a son, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew and friend. Just know the pain of losing you will never truly end.

"Heaven gained yet another angel, someone so beautiful and pure. You'll be watching over us forever, of that I'm so sure.

"We will miss your hugs, your laughter and especially your cheeky smile."

Dylan was a keen rugby player and many friends and teammates attended
The service was held at St John the Baptist Church

Musician and family friend Rich Evans, of Wordsley, performed songs including You'll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins, Remember Me from Disney's Coco and Reach For The Stars by S Club 7, while there were traditional hymns and other musical tributes such as Take Me Home, Country Roads and Over the Rainbow sung by Eva Cassidy.

Dylan had been walking home from a party on the B4385 in the town when he is believed to have been involved in a collision with a vehicle which did not stop at the scene.

He was discovered by a passing motorist who phoned the emergency services but could not be saved.

West Mercia Police is investigating and have appealed alongside the teenager’s family for the driver or anyone with information to come forward. Nobody has been arrested over the incident.

Thousands of pounds has been raised for the grieving family, which will help cover the costs of the funeral and anything else they might need.

Last weekend hundreds of people came together to honour the much-loved teenager in Bishop's Castle, where rugby matches were played in his memory and a fireworks display was put on.

The cortege arrives at St John the Baptist Church
Tributes left to Dylan outside Bishop's Castle Rugby Club

His funeral service was also followed by a wake and celebration of his life at the rugby ground, in Brampton Road, where he was a popular member and had even played two games alongside his father this season.

Donations will be given to the mental health charity YoungMinds and Bishop's Castle Community College pastoral care to cover the cost of counselling for students.

An online fundraising appeal set up in Dylan's memory and to help his family has raised almost £12,000.

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