Isla Caton's funeral

Brave young West Ham United fan Isla Caton is laid to rest

Brave little Hammer Isla Caton has been laid to rest in a moving memorial service held at South Essex Crematorium on Friday morning.

Isla passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the age of just seven, five years after being diagnosed with the rare child cancer neuroblastoma.

Thousands of well-wishers lined the streets of Isla’s hometown of Hornchurch as Isla made her final journey in a beautiful white carriage drawn by two white horses and covered in floral tributes.

The amount of love Isla brought so many people will last a lifetime

Nikki Caton

The family, led by Isla’s parents Nikki and Michael, bid Isla a final farewell inside the Crematorium chapel, from where the service was screened online to enable those who have supported Isla’s Fight to join in a celebration of her life.

Isla’s Fight has caught the imagination of not just the West Ham family but the wider football world, raising funds to enable Isla to receive specialist medical treatment in England and Spain, and to give her happy experiences when doctors sadly informed her family in December that treatment was no longer working.

“We crammed 80 years’ worth of love into her seven years of life,” she told the Romford Recorder.  “Isla was a happy, contented little girl and the amount of love she brought so many people will last a lifetime.

“To see that my small child that spent more time in hospital than anywhere else and has never met any of these people, that she changed their lives. While her childhood was not what we would have wished, it was a different kind of amazing.

“What she did will last forever and we will continue to make her proud in everything we do.

“I didn’t even know she had died. It was so peaceful. She literally just closed her eyes and fell asleep. No pain, no more doctors and nurses being the only people she sees – now she can go and be pain-free and have a childhood again in heaven.”

 

Isla Caton with her parents Nikki and Michael and sister Millie
Isla Caton with her parents Nikki and Michael and sister Millie

 

Posting on Facebook, Nikki has thanked everybody for their support throughout Isla’s Fight and in the days since her passing.

“Please know that you all have made this almost bearable for us, the amount of love being sent is radiating and I’m sure Isla can feel it all the way in heaven!” she wrote. “I’ll be forever grateful to you all and I love you so so so much.

“You have given me strength when I had none left and in all this I hope you will help me make sure Islas name is forever known and heard and that the amazing light stays shinning bright and I hope I make her proud because God she has made me the proudest person in the whole world.

“Good night baby girl. Mummy loves you x.”

Isla’s fight has come to an end, but her memory and legacy will live on forever.

Rest in peace, Isla.