Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hundreds Say Final Farewell to Benji.New Dad Who Had Been Looking Forward to So Much

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hundreds Say Final Farewell to Benji.New Dad Who Had Been Looking Forward to So Much

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Passant Reporter andy.passant@eveninggazette.co.uk

HUNDREDS paid their last respects to a young dad who was tragically "robbed of his life" after going out to celebrate his baby son's birth.

There was a massive turnout as family and friends of Benji Bolsenbroek said a final farewell to him at his funeral in Middlesbrough.

The 23-year-old died after being assaulted during a large-scale disturbance at the Park Hotel in Linthorpe in October. Police are still investigating the incident.

Benji had become a father just days before and had been out celebrating with loved ones to wet his baby son Kianey's head.

Yesterday a large crowd of mourners gathered outside St Francis of Assisi Church on Acklam Road for Benji's funeral service. Others lined the streets around the church.

Benji's coffin arrived in a horsedrawn carriage pulled by two black horses and was carried into the packed church as the song Wherever You Will Go by Charlene Soraia was played.

There were so many people in the church that some had to stand at the back.

They were there to celebrate Benji's life but also to mourn a life snatched away 11 weeks ago.

Mourners were told that proud new dad Benji had been "robbed of the rest of his life", at a time he had been looking forward to so much.

Emotional tributes were paid by members of Benji's heartbroken family, including his mum Rose and his siblings, and his partner Georgina, the mother of his new-born son.

His mother Rose said she had not written anything down and didn't know what to say about her beloved Benji.

But she found the strength to continue, saying they had been best mates as well as being mother and son. She said: "He had a heart of gold. He gave everything to everybody."

Rose remembered how her son would flash his bright smile, adding: "I miss that. …

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