MORE than 250 people packed a memorial assembly to remember Bexleyheath schoolboy Philip Lamin a year on since his untimely death.

There was not a dry eye in the hall which was packed with family, friends and teachers attended the service at Bexleyheath Academy as heartfelt speeches, poems and songs were performed in the 16-year-old's memory on Wednesday afternoon.

News Shopper:

Philip's mum Juliet Lamin, from Belvedere, was in the front row for the service and was hugged and kissed by Philip's friends and family as the hall filled and not one seat was left empty.

The aspiring footballer, who was a Christian, collapsed during a friendly game at Goals in Graham Road on February 5 last year seconds after scoring a goal.

The assembly was led by Tracey Boswell who was Philip's head of year at the time of his death and to start the service she read out a heartfelt poem about God wanting Philip in his football team for a match in heaven.

News Shopper:

Del Bearfoot, pastor of Bexley Christian Life Centre and a close friend to Philip, said at the service: "Philip was an talented footballer and athlete.

"He was born to win and that was because of his character. He influenced others in a positive way and he was much loved. He could have had a football contract with Arsenal or Fulham. "He would loved to have bought his mum a big house in the country.

"He believed in Jesus and he achieved so much in his sixteen years."

News Shopper:

The memorial included performances of O Happy Day and other songs from the Bexleyheath Academy school choir.

News Shopper:

Pastor Len Randall, who mentored Philip at youth group, said: "I still find it hard to accept why God chose to take Philip away from us at such a young age but his memory will ever stay with us.

"He was a smart, handsome and extremely athletic boy.

"He has left us with an amazing legacy and has brought light into these circumstances."

Philip's cousin Sanusi Tijan, 17, read out a heartmoving poem at the service. 

News Shopper:

Emmanuel Rufai, 17, who was one of Philip's closest friends and calls him a 'brother' and is now heading up the forum called PL9 to help youngsters find out about cardiac problems, also spoke at the service.

He described how Philip had come to him in a dream and tapped him on the shoulder and he took it as confirmation that he was pleased with all he was doing at the forum.

Emmanuel added: "In that dream it also felt like Philip was passing me the baton, he is not here to carry on his legacy but we are and we have to make the most of each day."

News Shopper:

Juliet and Emmanuel hold the forum each Friday evening at Nando's in Bexleyheath and also want to promote youths having better relationships with the police and authorities.

After the service the crowds filed into the school courtyard to let off Chinese lanterns in Philip's memory next to his tree. 

News Shopper:

Miljan Scekic, 17, who was one of Philip's best friends said after the service: "We are just taking it one day at a time. The service was a nice way to remember Philip."

News Shopper:

Mrs Boswell added: "The service was quite impromptu and went so much better than I could have imagined.

"Juliet was amazing and she has is just an inspirational woman. The children have responded so well to her and she is doing an amazing job with the youth group."

The emotional service ended with everyone singing and clapping to a song played on the big screen. 

News Shopper: