Family and friends say farewell to Newport firefighter Shane Evans after brave cancer battle

Moving tributes were paid at the funeral today of Newport firefighter and father Shane Evans who lost his brave battle against cancer earlier this month.

Funeral of Newport Firefighter Shane Evans at St. Nicholas Church in Newport Shropshire..
Funeral of Newport Firefighter Shane Evans at St. Nicholas Church in Newport Shropshire..

St Nicholas Church in the town centre was packed with hundreds of family, colleagues and friends who were invited to celebrate the life of 42-year-old Shane, who died at Severn Hospice, in Shrewsbury, on January 2 due to squamous cell oesophageal cancer.

Two of Shane's young children, who he shared with partner Lisa Stovin, spoke movingly. Daughter Chelsea thanked the "bravest dad ever", adding: "I love you and miss you - you will always be in my heart."

And Izzabelle said he "completed our family, I will always remember what he did for us and will love him forever".

Mr Evans' coffin was carried into the church by six firefighters, and his service colleagues Charlie Cartwright and Dean Baker also spoken in tribute.

Mr Cartwright revealed that following a barn blaze, involving asbestos, Mr Evans did not want to have to lose his £70 Calvin Kline boxer briefs. So he went back in to the washing area, gave them a wring and brought them back out.

Shane Evans and his children and partner, Lisa

"The last time I saw him he was worried about not getting a good turnout for his funeral," said Mr Cartwright, adding that he was amazed by the volume of people in the church.

He told the family that the fire service of which Mr Evans was a part for five years, would always "be there to offer support".

"We are 100 strong and will are right behind you," he told the family, which includes children Chelsea, Izabelle, Kian and Corey.

Mr Evans and his brother Lance were both serving firefighters.

Dean Baker, his watch manager for five years at MOD Donnington, said Mr Evans was well known for looking after his appearance.

A floral tribute was made for the funeral

Once he asked for a smaller T-shirt so he could show off his muscles, he recalled.

And he was well known for regularly eating omelettes - and washing them down with chocolate bars.

"He was not afraid to put himself forward - he always had a little bit of swagger and would strike a pose in photos," he added.

Vicar Reverend Merry Smith said the motor sports fan, who also played football for Nova United until the age of 16, was famed for keeping his own car spotless and for encouraging his boys to look after their appearance.

"I am told he was worse than a woman for his hair," she said. "And he loved the pink hair straighteners he was bought."

He was also a "sentimental and loving man", treating his partner Lisa to candle lit dinners.

Firefighters carried Shane's coffin into the church

"She knew how much he loved her," said the Rev Smith.

"He will have a very clean room in heaven, and there will definitely be a gym nearby with the opportunity to eat organic food - and chocolate.

"He can rest there now, free from pain."

Following the service, which included music from Ed Sheeran, Flip and Fill, Coldplay, and Dani and Izzy, family and friends gathered at the Royal Naval Association, in Bellmans Yard.

A fire engine was also involved in the funeral procession

In the order of service the family thanked all relatives, friends and neighbours for their cards, messages or sympathy and support following their bereavement.

"Special thanks to all for attending the service and for the kind donations received for the Severn Hospice, Shrewsbury," they said.

Mr Evans had been diagnosed in January last year, and a 10-hour keyhole surgery to remove his oesophageal cancer was recently aired on Channel 5 on Thursday.

After undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations, Shane was given the news that the cancer had spread through his body and was no longer curable.

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