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'Bubbly' student Shereka Marsh laid to rest

SPORTS STAR: Shereka Marsh

THE FAMILY and friends of Hackney teenager Shereka Fabi-Ann Marsh performed a series of emotional tributes as the popular pupil was laid to rest earlier today.

Up to 500 people gathered for the funeral, held at St John at Hackney Church.

Friends said Shereka’s mother Shyrine Mills, was too distraught to speak as she buried her only child.

Shereka’s aunt, Camilla Mills, performed the eulogy, followed by tributes from her teachers and a poem from her best friend.

The Urswick School headteacher Richard Brown talked about how the schoolgirl, a prefect, had excelled in both sports and academia.

She was on track to achieve top grades in many of her GCSE exams, including history – one of her favourite subjects – when she was shot in the neck on March 22 at a party in Hackney Wick.

A family friend performed a powerful rendition of Brandy’s Missing You, as friends – who formed Shereka’s Choir – chose to sing Westlife’s I’ll See You Again.

Brown, speaking on behalf of Shereka’s family, said: "This is an intensely painful day but we also wanted the funeral to be a celebration of Shereka’s life. She loved her family, her school and her friends.

"Shereka was a dedicated student who also found time for sport and to enjoy herself."

In a moving video made by her Year 11 peers, who will sit their GCSEs this month, friends paid tribute to "the bubbliest girl in the world", describing her as loving, warm and always the first to make friends laugh.

Outgoing Hackney councillor Patrick Vernon said: "It was a very powerful and moving send-off. It was hard too watch so many young people crying for their friend. Ultimately, it was a celebration of her life and her achievements.

"I had the pleasure of meeting her and she was a lovely young lady. We, as a society, need to do more to empower our young girls and protect them."

The community has rallied round Shereka’s family, helping to raise more than £10,000 to help pay for the send-off.

Brown added: "On behalf of Shereka’s family, I would like to pass on my heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed.|

The Jamaican High Commissioner, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, who met Shereka during a visit to the school, sent a message of condolence: "I remember her as an articulate, positive and energetic young person who spoke to me with great passion and excitement about her plans for the future…she has left a lasting impression on those with whom she came into contact."

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