Funeral For Hampshire Teenager

Family and friends have said a final goodbye to the Hampshire teenager who died after being stabbed in Greece.

The funeral of 18 year old Robert Sebbage from Tadley took place at St. Mary's Church in Basingstoke on Thursday 4th August 2011.

He was killed last month after going on holiday to Zante with a group of friends. They got into a fight with a group of taxi drivers before the incident - A 21 year old man's been charged with murder.

On Thursday 4th August during the service, Rev Trevor Woodget, Minister of Basingstoke Baptist Church, paid tribute. He said:

"We're here today because Robert has tragically been murdered. He'll never be forgotten and he leaves a deep sense of loss behind in our hearts. For many of you the last few weeks have been the most traumatic of your life.

The discovery of what happened to Robert, the numb sense of unreality as the news began to sink in - did it really happen? Was it all just a bad dream? So many questions and emotions have been aroused by his death. "

He continued:

"Robert was born in Basingstoke hospital on 16th October 1992, a tubby blond blue eyed brother for Steven and Martin. He was a happy baby, always smiling, but unfortunately it soon became apparent he had some serious health issues, which were later diagnosed as a Neuropathic Bowel Disorder. Robert never talked much about his condition, but over the years he had two major operations and numerous minor exploratory ops and biopsies not to mention countless fortnightly trips to hospital for regular 8hr infusions. He's been a familiar face not only at Basingstoke but also Southampton and Great Ormonde Street Hospitals.

'As a child, he was a typical happy go lucky toddler, going to playgroup as normal, then on to Bishopswood Infants & Junior schools, before going on to the Hurst, then QMC. Ann Tougher, a school nurse, who's known Robert since he was three, wrote these words:

'Robert was loved and admired by so many, his courage, his wit and his determination to be normal despite the odds... I watched Robert grow from a loveable lad to a strapping teenager and watched his progress into a fine young man, still stoic, despite what he faced in the future'.

"Robert was very bright and successful at school, coming out with good As and Bs in his GCSEs despite having missed most of Y8 due to illness. We still await the results of his Media Studies, English Language and Sociology exams which he took at QMC this summer. His ambition was to get his health sorted out, then go to University and become a sports journalist.

"Robert has always been passionate about sport, and football in particular. Let me read out to you some words written from the Tadley Calleva Football Club. The whole Club was shocked and saddened when the news broke of the tragic death of the ex-youth player. Robert joined the club at the age of 7. His team manager Andy Granston remembers him as a player who gave 110% both at training and during matches...

Robert and friends

'His smile was infectious and his positive attitude to life will never be forgotten. Despite his poor health at times he was always more concerned for others. He never let anything get in the way of living in the way that he and breathing football and always with that famous smile on his face. Robert will be sadly missed but fondly remembered'.

"Robert had a very dry sense of humour and had a perfect sense of timing seeing the funny side in the most ordinary situations. One of his friends, Steve Granston wrote of his humour like this:

'It's so hard to sum up Rob because he was one amazing person. He was kind and caring and always put others before himself. Rob was a good laugh to have around and one way or another would always find a way to take the mick. That's why I always enjoyed being around Rob. He will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him; I will miss and never forget his cheeky smile, his fantastic personality, and lastly his great sense of humour.'

"Another friend Callum wrote:

'Words can't describe how much I miss you mate, you were the life and soul of everything and I will never forget that. You brightened up every room you walked into. I will never forget your smile which just made me laugh every time I saw it. The times we laughed, the times we cried and the times we joked around will be with me for the rest of my life. The football times we had were unreal from you getting into trouble with the stewards for being too noisy and you wouldn't sit down, to the times up the green with the boys where you became "Rebound Rob" and scored every goal in every possible were an absolute star mate. I love you mate.'

"Talking with his brothers Steven and Martin the other afternoon I got the impression they were a typical family. One of the last text messages Martin has on his phone was from Rob in Greece. Martin described Robert as:

'One of my best mates - Robert really enjoyed music, especially Oasis, and went with his mates to the Isle of Wight Festival this year and had a great time despite the awful weather, returning home dirty and bedraggled with his jeans cut away. He had to change in the garage before Mum would let him in the house the state he was in!'

"Another friend called Sweeney wrote:

'The day we all went to Wembley to see Oasis is a day I will treasure for the rest of my life. Your smile and presence, which always lit up the room and rubbed off onto others will be dearly missed. You battled and overcame everything that was given to you which showed us all how much of a strong spirited person you were.'

"Another tribute was paid by Nick Arnold:

'Where do I start with you Rob? He was the bravest boy I ever met. The way he dealt with what had to be dealt with everyday was inspiring to me because it made me realise how lucky I am. He woke up with a smile on his face and went to sleep with that very same smile. He made myself and other laugh so much and feel so happy. If I could tell you just some of the memories I would be talking for far too long. The amount of times that he turned a bad time into a great time was uncountable. Every day he would light up a room wherever he went. His personality is irreplaceable. The smiles that we had and the laughter we shared will never be forgotten. Whenever you were with Rob, you knew you were going to have a great time, whether it would be having a kick about up on the green or just chilling out in front of the TV. For me, everything around me reminds me of him. From football at the weekends, to the One Direction poster that he bought me for my 18th. I couldn't believe it when I opened it. And the look on his face was unforgettable. Rob was one of the most special people anybody could ever meet or know. I feel lucky and honoured that I was part of his life. I will forever love the fact that whatever mood you were in, Robo could always put you in a better one. Rob will forever be in my heart as a best friend, a brother and one of the nicest guys I will ever meet. I will forever love you Rob.'