THE family of an Urmston teenager who died of cancer two days before Christmas would like to thank his friends and the wider community for their heart-felt support both during his life and at his funeral, which more than 400 people attended.

Billy Molden, who was 14, died on December 23 due to bone cancer.

He is survived by his parents Jane and Gary, his sisters Amy and Katy, as well as his grandparents, Billy and Carol.

Following the ‘standing room only’ turn out at Billy’s funeral, which was held at St Michael’s Church, Flixton, on December 27, his grandmother, Carol, was so moved that she felt compelled to write a letter of thanks to be printed in Messenger.

She wrote: “Our lives will never be the same without our precious, brave, caring grandson Billy, but we felt that we should thank you all on behalf of all of our family and close friends for being there.

“We are proud to be part of the huge, caring community that we have here in Urmston, Flixton and Davyhulme.”

Carol also noted that many of Billy’s young friends gave up their seats to let older people sit down during the service and three of them were able to stand up and in front of hundreds of people and speak movingly about him, despite their nerves.

Billy became ill in 2011, shortly after he began attending Wellacre Academy, in Flixton.

He noticed a lump on his leg, which was quickly diagnosed as a bone cancer and he then underwent chemotherapy treatment, which seemed to have a positive impact on the cancer.

However, the chemotherapy had an adverse impact in his health, according to his grandfather, Bill.

“He put up a heck of a fight – he was in an induced coma for a week at one point which put a lot of strain on his heart.

“Consequently he lost 80 percent of his hearing. But he never let it bother him,” said Bill.

In 2012 the cancer returned and Billy’s left leg was amputated from above the knee, but again Billy was unphased, according to Bill.

“He went on with his hearing aids and prosthetic leg fine, everything they threw at him he took it on the chin.

“He never moaned once, never complained,” said Bill.

Bill and Carol said their grandson was more concerned about other people, it would always be Billy who noticed if his grandmother had had her hair cut or if someone else in the family was ill.

He was sociable to the end, he lived for his friends and for life itself.