LITTLE Ryan Hawkins was buried in a Spiderman coffin as his devastated family said a final farewell to the four-year-old.
The toddler’s favourite action hero played a big part in his funeral, which brought Slaithwaite to a standstill yesterday as hundreds of mourners packed into St James’s Church to pay their respects.
Ryan, tragically killed two weeks ago, was described as ‘fabulous’ by sisters Natalie and 14-year-old Donna, who was also stabbed in the attack.
Wearing dark hooded jackets with the colourful words ‘RIP Ryan’ alongside a smiling photograph of their little brother, the sisters said in a statement read by the Rev Sue Pegg: “Ryan was a happy, beautiful boy who loved Spiderman as you can tell. He also loved Power Rangers.
“Our brother was fabulous, we loved him to bits and still do; we’ll be lost without him.
“We’ll miss everything about him – his cheeky smile, him always posing for the camera, running around, running around us.
“Ryan babe, you’ll be missed by everyone here and lots of other people.
“Look down on us you little angel; you’ll never be forgotten.
“Hope you’re OK up there, life won’t be the same without you.
“We’ll miss your super-squeeze hugs, your kisses, your beautiful voice.
“Spiderman, grandad and nana will take care of you up there now.
“We love you so much our brother, rest in peace our little man.
“Love your big sisters Natalie and Donna. Good night, god bless, sleep tight.”
More than 200 people attended the funeral, many of them youngsters who knew Ryan and his family.
As the church bells chimed, a hearse carrying Ryan’s coffin made the short drive to the parish church, followed by three black funeral cars carrying family and friends.
His coffin was carried into the church to the Elton John song Candle in the Wind as his sisters sat alongside their mother Valerie.
Ryan’s coffin was placed next to a huge poster of Spiderman at the front of the church as the Rev Sue Pegg from the Slaithwaite Methodist Church and the Rev Robin Townsend from St James’s paid tribute to Ryan.
The Rev Pegg said: “Ryan was born four years ago on September 16. His mother had said he screamed the place down until she brought him home to his two doting sisters.
“As Ryan grew, so did his personality. He was a happy little lad who would run anywhere, especially to playschool where he loved to go to be with his friends.
“Spiderman is a superhero. First there’s Ryan’s sister Donna, so brave, and Natalie too, just amazingly supportive.”
Members of the congregation sang hymns including All Things Bright and Beautiful, before the coffin was carried out of the 18th century church by two young boys and two men as nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was played.
The coffin was placed back into the hearse as Ryan made his final journey to Huddersfield Crematorium with floral tributes telling him to have ‘Sweet Dreams’.