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Hundreds pack Gloucester Cathedral to celebrate life of Nick Bonnie

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 25, 2013

  • Nick Bonnie and Leah Wilkins

Comments (2)

IT was standing room only at Gloucester Cathedral as hundreds upon hundreds of people said farewell to their "beloved Bonnie".

Nick Bonnie, 30, from Stroud, collapsed and died in the early hours of Saturday, September 28, during a lads' weekend in Manchester. Four friends were also taken ill but recovered soon afterwards.

He had sought medical help in the club after taking what was suspected to be ecstasy. It prompted police to test samples after reports of a "bad batch" of the Class A drug.

However, many of his friends and family believe he was not a drug user and are of the opinion he made one fatal mistake.

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Yesterday, more than 500 people crammed into Gloucester's landmark building to celebrate the life of Nick, who grew up in King's Stanley and lived in Bristol with his girlfriend Leah Wilkins.

His coffin, adorned with a Liverpool football shirt, was carried into the Cathedral to the sound of This Woman's Work by Maxwell. Family members and friends, who were all asked to wear bright colours rather than the traditional black, sang hymns He's Got the Whole World in his Hands, I Danced in the Morning and Morning has Broken in between moving poems and tributes to the much-loved former The Prince's Trust employee.

His former work colleague Robert Butcher was first to read to the congregation.

He said: "He was an inspiration to us all. Everyone knew Nick wherever he went.

"He always had time for people, his energy was infectious.

"His hard work at the trust will help us to help people in years to come who haven't even walked through the doors yet. He helped to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds.

"What he will really be remembered for is his personality. He knew how to make people laugh."

His cousin Martyn King read the poem I Am Free before the Reverend Ian Gobey read John 14 verses 1-6 and 27-29.

In a particularly emotional moment, Nick's friends Hannah, James, Ed and Johnny read a statement compiled on behalf of Nick's many friends.

Fighting back the tears, Hannah said: "He was the most loyal friend, it was impossible not to fall in love with him.

"He had a love for all things luminous, and his clothes matched his personality.

"Nick was loved by all he met, he was someone special to everyone.

"Despite his many friends, when you were with him he made you feel like you were the only friend he had. We miss you so much, and in the words of Fall Out Boy, thanks for the memories."

Well-wishers left the church to Don't You Worry Child, by the Swedish House Mafia, as close friends and relatives made their way to King's Stanley Village Hall for refreshments afterwards.

After Nick's death his mum Pauline and dad Andy bravely stepped into the media spotlight to highlight the dangers illegal drugs can pose.

Meanwhile, artist Casey Rogers, 30, from Thrupp is dedicating her exhibition to Nick – 10 per cent of sales will be donated to the trust.

Her work is on display at The Black Horse pub in Amberley until November 30. Backed by artsAid, which donates 10 per cent of sales to charity, she chose The Prince's Trust as her cause as she was good friends with Nick.

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  • MervSBD  |  October 28 2013, 10:19PM

    Because Citizen17, he was one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet. There wasn't another church in Gloucestershire big enough.

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  • Whizzo  |  October 26 2013, 10:08AM

    @cosmic Straight to the point, harsh......ish, but true. You make your choices in life and pay the price, sometimes a big one and with every high in life, legal or illegal there is a low. There are enough adverts and programmes on television to make us all aware of the penalties of taking drugs. As this story, there are plenty of Obituaries to read relating to a quick dabble in strange substances. If you are going to buy a strange substance off a strange person in a strange environment the question, even if at the back of your mind and regardless of sobriety has to be??

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