Doves released in tribute as hundreds pay respects to Andy Prowting

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AS the sun shone brightly on a crisp winter’s day, doves of peace marked a fond farewell to a much-loved young man today.

Around 300 peopled gathered at Portchester crematorium to say goodbye to Andy Prowting, the 24-year-old from Leigh Park who lost his battle with skin cancer earlier this month.

Andy Prowting

Andy Prowting

His coffin, which was painted with pictures of Andy and a pink VW camper van, was taken to the crematorium in an ornate glass horse-drawn carriage.

Loved-ones wore black and white Andy’s Army T shirts, badges and even hair bows for the moving service.

Afterwards doves of peace were released in the fountain courtyard.

Andy, a security guard, earned the admiration of the community for his fight against illness. He was diagnosed with skin cancer in January and the disease spread to his bones and liver.

When doctors told him there was nothing more they could do his family and friends formed Andy’s Army to raise money to send him to America for lifesaving treatment.

After dozens of fundraisers across the area, around £45,000 has been raised and this money will help the children and young adults at a cancer ward at Southampton General Hospital.

Earlier this month more than 400 car enthusiasts joined Andy’s family at a car meet in Southsea for a candlelit vigil in his memory.