Island mourns Tom Spiteri as 1,000 turn out for funeral

THE family of a teenager killed in a motorbike accident say they have been “overwhelmed” by the response from well-wishers.

More than 1,000 people attended the funeral of Isle of Dogs youngster 19-year-old Tom Spiteri at the City of London Crematorium in Manor Park on Saturday, while 150 more waited outside.

The popular former George Green’s School pupil died last month when his motorbike was in collision with a car on Westferry Road.

A mass of floral tributes at the roadside in the wake of the accident and a flood of cards and flowers have also appeared at the Spiteri household in Billson Street.

Tom’s parents, Jason and Lorraine, say the response has helped them at such a difficult time.

“We couldn’t believe the attendance for the funeral – we would have been proud with half the number that came,” said Jason. “What’s happened has been tragic and everyone has wanted to come forward and say they’re thinking of Tom and that they loved him. He was born on the Island – his life was the Island. You would not get this response from many other communities and we just can’t believe it.”

Tom, who also went to Cubitt Town School and had two brothers and one sister, left his studies at16 to start an electrician apprenticeship before leaving to work for his father’s catering company in the City.

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He was a dance music fan, having been to Ibiza in the summer, and loved fashion, owning more than 60 pairs of trainers. But his biggest passion was always motorbikes.

“I tried to get him playing football and he did turn out for Millwall Albion, but the moment the whistle went he’d be off on his bike still wearing his football kit,” added Jason.

Friends have lit candles every morning since Tom’s death and there are talks about a memorial involving George Green’s.