With a staccato blare of exhausts, Macauley Clements’ motorcycling friends arrived en masse at St Mary’s Church, Ixworth, for his funeral today.
As one young rider walked into the packed church in ‘Macca’s’ home village, he said quietly: “That’s the hardest ride I’ve ever made.”
But the numbers of 16-year-old Macauley’s friends who swelled the congregation until people were standing in the aisles said much about the high regard people had for the young man who died beside the friend Adam Weller, who he looked upon as another brother, in a crash on the A14 last month.
They joined his parents Anton and Maxine, brothers Aaron and Jordan and grandfather Gordon Ryder and extended family, as well as teachers from the village schools and Thurston Community College.
The coffin, adored with a union flag and the green and white stripes and yellow ‘46’ of Macauley’s hero MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi, came in to the sound of one of his favourite songs, Kenny Chesney’s Who You’d be Today.
Rev Jill Walker, vicar of Ixworth, began: “I’m not surprised to see so many here in church. Your presence speaks volumes of the affection you feel for Macauley.”
She said how much the family had been comforted by the tributes that had been paid to Macauley. She said he loved sport and was an Army Cadet, having died days away from the first step in meeting his childhood dream of joining the Army.
She read out tributes from his family, beginning with his brothers, one of whom wrote: “To my awesome little brother. He was such an amazing little brother.”
His grandfather Gordon wrote: “He was a very special person to me. Macauley and I had a special bond. He came to see me every day before going to school, ate me out of house and home and I was always fixing his BMX bike.”
The tribute also spoke of a shared enthusiasm for Gordon’s classic Volkswagen Beetle.
Anton and Maxine said: “You packed a lot into your short life and lived every day to the full. We know you would have made an amazing soldier.”
They wrote of the huge gap his death had left in the family.
For our report on Adam Weller’s funeral click here