It was a eulogy that brought most people in the room to tears – including the reverend herself.
Mother Carrie Thompson delivered a touching tribute to Leo during his funeral yesterday, talking of his glowing personality and positive outlook on life.
Mother Carrie said: ‘He was always so proud of everything he did, it was as if he’d won the Nobel Prize, the National Lottery and the World Cup all on the same day.
‘Leo was somebody who really did live life to the full every day. He had times of sadness or frustration, as we all do, but within two minutes he would be smiling and laughing again.
‘Like both Mickey and Baymax, Leo had an optimistic, sunny outlook on the world. He hated other people being in pain or distress, and he just wanted to help everyone out.
‘Even on his last day of life, he was busy selling stickers to the neighbours so that he could buy his family a new house.
‘Leo inspired love in pretty much everyone who met him, but he had a particularly special relationship with his best friends Scarlett – he always wanted to check that she’d be in school before he’d go in, and on her last birthday, he was ready and sitting on the doorstep waiting for her a full two hours before she was due to arrive.
‘Some people go their whole lives without finding someone who truly understands and loves them for who they are, but Leo had that with Scarlett, and I know that Tom and Natalie will always be grateful for that, and that Scarlett will always have a place as an honorary member of their family.
‘The name Leo means lion, and as it happens, Leo often said that he quite fancied being a lion.
‘So far, he’s mostly sent us butterflies, but I think nobody is entirely ruling out the idea that we might wake up one morning and see a lion strolling along Forton Road to buy some midget gems from Tesco’s.
‘Lots of people said that Leo sort of lived in his own little world in his head, and I think the world of Leo is somewhere we'd all like to live, because there isn’t any malice or hatred there, there’s just love and laughter, and peace and friendship, and music and dancing, and mice and lions, and giant white robots giving people fist bumps, and lots and lots of smiling.
‘The world could be exploding around his ears, and that boy would still find something to smile about, because he knew that he loved other people, and that he was deeply loved.
‘We’re all going to be crying and hurting for a long time, and that’s right and it's natural, because we love him.
‘But we shouldn’t feel guilty about laughing and smiling and having fun too, because that’s how Leo lived his life, and I think that’s how he would want us to live ours.’