Leeds United players support family of tragic Blake Cairns

Hundreds come to pay their respects at the Salvation Army Church, in Doncaster, for the funeral of Blake Cairns. Picture by Andrew Roe.

Hundreds come to pay their respects at the Salvation Army Church, in Doncaster, for the funeral of Blake Cairns. Picture by Andrew Roe.

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Leeds United players have stepped out in support of young goalkeeper Alex Cairns, as he mourned the tragic death of his 16-year-old brother Blake today.

Blake Cairns was remembered by more than 500 mourners who attended his funeral service at the Salvation Army Church, in Doncaster.

The popular teenager, who was from Doncaster, was one of five young people killed in a two car collision at Conisbrough on November 15.

Whites players including Michael Tonge, Billy Sharp, Stephen Warnock, David Norris, Ross Killock and Liam Cooper were among the hundreds of family, friends and well wishers to attend the funeral.

Alex, who is 21, took to social media networking site Twitter to pay tribute to his brother and thank the public for their support last week.

He said: “Me and my family would like to thank everyone for their messages and support through this difficult time. He was amazing in every single way.

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“He made this family and everyone around him laugh. He was just the best person anyone could ever wish to meet. So we as a family would like to thank you all.

“We love him, we always will love him, words can’t describe what he means to this family. Love you baby bro.”

Blake, along with 16-year-olds Jordanna Goodwin and Megan Storey and 18-year-olds Bartosz Bortniczak and Arpad Kore all died following the incident in Sheffield Road, Conisbrough, earlier this month.

The funerals of Bartosz, Megan, Jordanna and Arpad were held earlier this week.

Four of the five were students at Danum Academy, in Doncaster, while Bartosz was a former pupil.

Rebecca Staples, headteacher of the academy, described Blake as “incredibly caring” at the funeral.

“It’s been an incredible turn out but it’s no surprise because Blake connected so many different areas of our community.”

Reflecting on the events, she added: “It’s been the hardest week of my career and I hope I never have one harder than this.

“It’s been the hardest two weeks the school could ever bare.

“It’s ripped the heart from us but it’s that very heart that’s kept us together.”

Those sentiments have been mirrored on social media ever since the tragic incident took place.

Last week Leeds United Football Club’s Academy tweeted: “Our thoughts are with Alex Cairns and his family at this difficult time.

“Sending strength and love from the LUFC family. A tragedy for all.”

Barry McGrath.

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