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Dagenham 'cheeky chappy' dad killed in crash remembered at funeral

PUBLISHED: 19:10 25 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:09 28 November 2016

The horse drawn carriage arrives at the crematorium

The horse drawn carriage arrives at the crematorium

Archant

A young dad-of-three who was killed in a crash was laid to rest this afternoon.

Pallbearers wore West Ham shirtsPallbearers wore West Ham shirts

About 100 people gathered to celebrate the life of keen biker Craig Voyce, who grew up in Dagenham, at South Essex Crematorium in Upminster following a procession from Pettit’s Road.

His casket – which had the word “Daddy” spelt out in white flowers along the top – arrived in a carriage drawn by a pair of white horses with claret and blue ostrich feathers atop their heads.

The Hammers fan was carried in by eight loved ones, some of whom wore football shirts with “Voycey” written across the back, to the tune of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.

Leading the service, Jay Belshaw described how mourners felt “robbed and angry” by the 23-year-old’s untimely death following a collision in Gidea Park earlier this month.

Flowers spelt out Flowers spelt out "Daddy" on top of the casket

“He touched the lives of so many people,” he said. “To have so many people here to pay their respects is a wonderful tribute.

“We will find the world a poorer place without him.”

Jay raised a laugh when he recalled how as a teenager Craig started a new school only to be expelled after a day for punching the deputy headteacher.

He also described how the “cheeky chappy” had set fire to a van in order to get the attention of Danielle Eyles, who went on to become his fiancée and the mother of his children.

Craig Voyce with fiancée Danielle EylesCraig Voyce with fiancée Danielle Eyles

In a heartfelt speech written by Danielle and read by a family friend on her behalf, she described how many saw Craig as “a loveable rogue”, but noted that the man who came home to her at night “had a soft side” and enjoyed sharing sweets with Rocky-Lee, five, Craig Junior, two, and Summer-Rose, one, while watching TV.

“He loved all three of his children more than life itself,” she added.

“Our children doted on him. He never failed to have a smile on his face. He will be sorely missed.

“It’s difficult to put into words how much we are going to miss him.”

A lover of films and music, some of Craig’s favourite songs punctuated the service with Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur playing as his three children each placed a single rose on top of his coffin.

Pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Post for more pictures.

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