Ace Rewcastle funeral: Portsmouth will always be here for late youngster's family and friends
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From the moment that The News was inundated with messages telling us that Ace Rewcastle had fallen seriously ill while on holiday in Barbados, we could see just how well-liked the eight-year-old was. We had around two dozen private messages on Facebook alone, urging us to share the news to others.
In the wake of his tragic death last month, these messages, phone calls to the newsroom and more continued, and Portsmouth’s true colours began to shine.
People can say whatever they want about this city, but when tragedy strikes and the chips are down you can always rely on Portsmouth people to pitch in and help out. Ace’s family have been embraced – literally and metaphorically – by just about everyone living in Portsmouth.
When a fundraising appeal was launched online to help with Ace’s medical bills, people donated in droves, raising more than £126,000. When a minute’s applause was planned at Fratton Park, the stadium erupted bang on cue, the home fans all keen to show their support for his family.
And today, when the funeral procession came through the city, starting in Paulsgrove and working its way past Ace’s school before heading down to St Mary’s Church in Fratton, people lined the streets to pay their respects and show solidarity with the family.
For Ace’s family and friends, the road ahead will still be a rocky one – but they can take comfort in knowing that everyone in the city will have their back.