Bikers ride through town in tribute to tragic Josh

Bikers wait to join the funeral procession for Josh Boothman in Stapleford on Friday.
Bikers wait to join the funeral procession for Josh Boothman in Stapleford on Friday.

Hundreds of motorcyclists rode through the streets of Stapleford as a tribute to teenager Josh Boothman on the day of his funeral.

The convoy of bikers accompanied the funeral procession of the 13-year-old, who tragically died after entering the Erewash Canal last month.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Josh’s family appealed for motorcyclists to escort the much-loved teen on his final journey on Friday – as he was ‘bike mad’.

Tributes flooded in for Josh, of Stapleford, following his death.

His sister, Kate Sermon, said shortly after the tragedy that the loss of Josh had left a hole in her life.

“Josh always had a smile of his face and was such a happy boy whenever I saw him,” she said.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

“I keep expecting him to knock on the door to say it was all a mistake.”

In a statement, George Spencer Academy, where he was a year nine pupil, said: “Josh was a lovely young man – always chirpy, positive and polite.

“He had impeccable manners and time for everyone – always asking students and staff alike how they were.

“He was a credit to his family, school and community.”

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

It added: “Outside of the classroom, he loved his youth club and enjoyed football.

“Josh will be sorely missed by everyone connected with George Spencer Academy.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

“We will be helping our students and staff to come to terms with the news and offering them support.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

“We will look at the best ways to honour Josh’s memory once everyone has had time to come to terms with the news.”

After Josh’s death, an online page was set up with the aim of raising £2,000 to support his family.

The target has been smashed and almost £5,000 has now been raised.

Lynne Sansom, who started the page, said: “All money rasied will be given to Josh’s family who have pledged to donate any excess to charities close to Josh’s heart.

“Josh’s parents, Mark and Gwen, would like to thank you for all money raised in their son’s name.”

Josh was found just after 5.30pm on September 24 during a search of the canal in Stapleford.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Police, paramedics and firefighters all attended the scene.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.

Josh Boothman funeral, Stapleford.