JOSHUA Twigg idolised Pompey legend Linvoy Primus when he was growing up.
And in a touching gesture, Linvoy attended Joshua’s funeral yesterday following the teenager’s tragic death.
There was barely a dry eye at Portchester Crematorium as more than 200 people gathered to say goodbye to the young footballer.
As reported in The News, Joshua, 16, died in what appears to have been a practical joke gone wrong when he was found with his neck entangled in a swing rope.
He was found by his brothers, twins Dan and Ben, just yards from the family home in Tangley Walk, West Leigh, Havant.
Yesterday the 18-year-olds fought back tears as they carried the coffin, which was draped in a Pompey flag.
Linvoy said he felt honoured to attend the service after receiving an invitation from the family.
He said: ‘I did not think twice about coming along.
‘Everyone has thanked me for being here. To be honest, there’s nothing for me to do. I just feel the pain of everybody here.
‘If someone can take comfort in me being here, then great; if not, it’s just about being here and supporting the family.’
Teammates from Joshua’s football team, Rams United, where he was vice-captain, placed a captain’s band on the coffin.
Jon Collington, 18, from Leigh Park, said: ‘He was the youngest player on the team, but had more respect than some of the older ones. He would have been captain next season.’
The service began with the music, The Lazy Song, by Bruno Mars, and people sobbed as they later listened to Joshua’s favourite track, Pretty Green Eyes, by Ultrabeat.
The congregation heard how Joshua was training to be a chef at South Downs College and wanted to work on cruise ships.
There was plenty of emotion as Ben read a tribute on behalf of himself, Dan and younger brother Sam.
He said: ‘We can’t believe that you had the last laugh, but you left us crying Josh, not laughing.
‘Rest in peace big man, til we meet again.’
Joshua’s older sister Sacha said: ‘I always called you my baby boy even though you were bigger than me. You made me so proud Joshy – the chief chef to be.’
Joshua’s dad, Danny, sobbed as he said ‘goodbye my son’.
A tribute from Joshua’s mum Rizi said: ‘I want you to know son how proud you have made me and that it’s been an honour and a privilege to have been your mum.
‘You will stay with me forever and an eternity. Sleep softly son and listen for my footsteps when the time comes for me to be with you again.’
Rizi whispered the words of the song You Are Not Alone, by Michael Jackson, which was played after her tribute.
Friends and family gathered around the coffin for several minutes to say one last goodbye, many laying their baseball caps and Pompey shirts on the coffin. There were dozens of floral tributes, including one in the shape of a ram’s head to symbolise his football team, pictured above.
One tribute read: ‘Miss you buddy, always in our hearts.’
The family said they wanted to celebrate Joshua’s life and organised a ‘party’ at The Fox pub in West Leigh after the service.