4:37pm Thursday 24th October 2013
By Hayley Mortimer
CLOSE to a thousand mourners gathered at Gloucester Cathedral today for the funeral of much-loved and hugely popular Nick Bonnie.
Dozens of friends helped to set out extra chairs but many had to remain standing while Nick's coffin was carried into the cathedral to the music of This Woman's Work, by Maxwell.
Prince's Trust worker Nick, 30, who grew up in King’s Stanley, died in the early hours of Saturday, September 28, after taking a 'bad batch' of suspected ecstasy at the Warehouse Project nightclub in Manchester.
His parents Pauline and Andy have said he was not a drug taker but that 'one stupid mistake had cost him his life.'
Former Marling School pupil Nick, who also leaves behind younger brothers Thomas and Ryan and long-term girlfriend Leah Wilkins, had worked for the Prince's Trust for eight years.
Colleague Robert Butcher shared memories, describing him as an 'inspiration' whose 'enthusiasm and passion had rubbed off on others'.
"His hard work has provided long term funding for young people for years to come," he said.
"But while he achieved many great things professionally, what he will really be remembered for is his personality.
"Everyone knew Nick wherever you went.
"His energy was infectious and he was the life and soul of the team.
"His beaming personality will live on through colleagues and friends and he will continue to inspire us all.
"This along with all the people he has helped is just part of his legacy. Thank you Nick."
A Liverpool supporter and keen sportsman, Nick had many circles of friends having played for youth football teams in King’s and Leonard Stanley and when he was older he played for Brimscombe and Thrupp and Cashes Green.
Hannah Woods paid tribute to Nick on behalf of his friends, emphasising the indelible mark that he has left on so many people.
She described him as 'the most loyal friend' with a 'larger than life character'.
"It was impossible not to fall in love with him," she said.
"Unassuming by nature he was loved by everyone he met."
In his address, the Rev Ian Gobey warned of the dangers of taking illegal substances.
"It is an absolute tragedy that we are meeting here today," he said.
"Drugs are evil and they caused Nick's untimely death.
"I hope we can take away the message today that drugs cause misery and heartbreak to others.
"Spreading that message would be a fitting tribute to Nick."
Nick's coffin was carried from the cathedral to the sound of Don't You Worry Child, by Swedish House Mafia, before a private burial at St George’s Church, in King’s Stanley, followed by a gathering in the village hall.
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