The final farewell to a true gent: Date set for Robbie's funeral

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The funeral of a teenager found hanged at his home will take place next week.

Friends and family of 16-year-old Robbie Hale will gather to pay their respects at the Wessex Vale Crematorium in Hedge End on Friday.

The service is open to everyone who knew the popular youngster, and is expected to be packed.

As reported in The News, Robbie was discovered dead at his home in Corsair Close in Lee-on-the-Solent last Saturday.

Tributes to the keen footballer and student have been pouring in since his death, with a growing shrine outside Bay House School in Gosport, where he attended the sixth form.

A close family friend, Anna Wardley, said she expected many people to turn up for the cremation.

'He's got a lot of friends,' she said. 'You can tell just by the size of the memorial in Gosport. So it's an open funeral, but his family are going to have a private wake afterwards which is by invitation only.'

Robbie's family are also planning to hold a memorial service for friends and family in London, where he is originally from.

'Funerals are sad occasions, so the memorial is supposed to be more of a celebration of his life,' added Anna.

Meanwhile, a Facebook group set up in Robbie's memory has now reached more than 2,200 members.

The page - 'Rest in Peace Robbie Hale, we love you man' - was set up in the early hours of Sunday morning. Students at Bay House sixth form college have also been busy organising a tribute to him.

They met at the school yesterday to begin producing a collective tribute to their former classmate.

Friends and strangers have also left flowers, messages, candles, toys and gifts at the shrine outside Bay House in remembrance.

Earlier this week Robbie's parents paid their tribute to their son in The News.

Mum, Lorraine Hale, described him as the 'perfect son' and 'a true gent'.

His father Pete has also spoken of the devastation at losing his 'best friend'.

He said: 'Robbie was my beautiful boy and perfect in every way.'

Friends of Robbie are welcome to attend the funeral service, which begins at the crematorium in Bubb Lane, Hedge End, at 4pm.