Sean Leahy
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Huge Royals fan Sean Leahy has been buried in Shane Long’s football shirt signed by many of the players.

His hour-long service on Friday was attended by hundreds of mourners and was a chance for Sean’s friends and family to remember their “mischievous” lad.

His beloved godfather David Smith paid tribute to him at the service at Whitley’s Christ the King Church, also attended by his widow Marie, 25 – who pays tribute to her husband below – and mum and dad Linda and Eddie.

Mr Smith recalled Sean’s capacity to surprise – even on the day he was born, August 5, 1981.

“He was born with a shock of spiky hair,” he laughed.

“Making friends was something he did easily. Sean’s sense of fun and mischief manifested itself at an early age.”

He said Sean adored Marie.

One day, he recalled, Sean decided the pair would go camping. So Marie bought a tent and the duo set it up in the field.

Only they did not do it correctly and it flooded with water.

“But it didn’t matter because they loved each other. They were in love,” said Mr Smith.

“Sean and Marie’s love for each other surpassed anything even Shakespeare could put into words.”

The congregation, many who had gathered outside the Northumberland Avenue church as it was so packed, laughed as Mr Smith remembered Sean’s love of football and cheeky character – including one time when he jumped off The Oracle bridge into the river.

He said: “Reading was Sean’s home town. He was happy here.

“It was home to his beloved team Reading.”

Father Bruce Barnes who conducted the service, was friends with Sean and saw him through his illness.

He said whenever he thought of him he thought of his “impish smile”.

“That impish smile remained until just a few hours before his death,” he added.

He said – having just been to the US – Sean had what the Americans would call “an attitude of gratitude”.

“He was sensitive to people’s needs and could pick up on what people thought,” he said.

“He respected people.

“He was polite to people, however he could also stand up for himself.”

After the service Sean was buried in Reading Crematorium in Caversham.

‘Just two years of marriage to my loveable husband’

It was the happiest day of her life for Marie Leahy when she married Sean

But their joy was shortlived as just two years later her beloved partner died aged just 27 following a brave battle with cancer.

Now Marie has paid tribute to her “unbelievable” husband who died on Saturday, October 18, in the Duchess of Kent Hospice in West Reading.

Former Christ the King and Blessed Hugh Faringdon School pupil Sean, from Whitley, died from bowel cancer after being diagnosed with it about a year ago.

Sadly this was not the first time he contracted the disease – in August 2007, before being confirmed as having bowel cancer, he suffered testicular cancer.

After having a testicle removed he recovered. But later he was diagnosed with the bowel strain of the illness and lost his fight this year.

Marie, 25, said her husband remained a pillar of strength through his illness.

She said: “He was absolutely unbelievable with such a funny personality.

“He never talked about his illness. He wanted to protect his family – we didn’t support him, he supported us.

“Through all his illness he fought it.

“He wouldn’t admit he was ill. He was so brave.”

Sean was a huge Reading FC fan. On the day they were promoted into the Premiership he was working as a security guard at B&Q near Madejski Stadium.

He wanted to watch the game but was not able to – so he snuck in.

Marie said: “He had on a luminous waistcoat so pretended he was a security guard at the game. He left B&Q and just walked in – he managed to get in.”

On another occasion the joker visited a restaurant in Reading and pretended he was from environmental health.

Marie recalled: “We couldn’t believe it. I was horrified. He just walked in and went into the kitchen and started examining it. He knew what he was looking for because he was a chef.”

The couple, who lived in Merton Road South, went to school together but did not get together until after they had both left.

They married in 2006 and their parents, Linda and Eddie Leahy and Connie and Mick Darcy, are very close.

Sean has a brother Daniel, 25, and a sister Nicola, 20, who he was very close to. Marie, who was with her husband when he died, continued: “He loved football and betting – he liked to place a bet every day.

“He was wild but in a good way.

“People always remembered him and he was so loveable. We’ve had hundreds of sympathy cards.”

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Reading Post from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
November 18, 2008

I can't believe a whole month has passed since we lost you. The pain still hurts soo much. You're always on my mind, missing you so so much! I hope you're Grandad Leahy is looking after you, and i hope you can hear me when i talk to you. Love you forever cuz. Vic xxxx
Vicky Smith
November 17, 2008
Top Cuz!
Looking back at childhood years and all the laughs we had
The naughty pranks at hoilday camps that made us all seem bad,
The christmas's at Grandads house the games we used to play
The way we all drank far to much to celebrate the day,
These memories that will keep us strong through good times and the bad
The laughs you brought will bring a smile whenever we feel sad,
Rest now Sean and find your peace be free from all the pain
As although we feel a massive loss its forever Heavens gain,
Go and join the angels now God has opened up his gates
And save a place for all of us see you soon. We love you mate.
I cant believe its been a month tommorow since we lost you Seany there are no words to describe how much we miss you. To say you have done us proud is an understatement you are our hero. I visit your grave every week to let you know how every one is and say hello i hope they are looking after you up there. untill we meet again cuz love you more than words can say and even more! Sam xxx
Sam Smith
November 13, 2008
Darling Seany,
I can't believe it's been over three weeks without you in our lives. Miss you so so much and will love you forever.
p.s. I hope you've got betting shops up there! xxxx
Nessie! & David
November 8, 2008
Oh Seany there are no words to say how much you are missed. The day you passed my mum told me that we had been praying for a miracle that didnt come but the more I think about it the more I realise that you were our miracle. As a family we have been truely blessed to have you in our lives we all miss you. A piece of my heart is always with you Seany boy.
Love ya loads xxx
Donna Gillespie
November 7, 2008
Seany, I will always remember the good times we all had on family get togethers the holidays, christmas and most of all the fantastic day at your wedding, you smiled all day because you got the girl of your dreams. you were very brave Seany and never let on to us how much you were suffering. you always had a special place in my heart, that will never change. Sleep well Seany will love you always. xxxx
Elaine Gillespie
November 5, 2008
My love, my life, my everything!
How will I live without you! Although we only had a short time together, I had the best years of my life. Never a dull moment with you around babe. We have made so many amazing memories enough to fill a whole lifetime, everyday was a new adventure even the stupid things we used to do! You certainly kept me on my toes.
I'll never stop loving you, I'm so proud of you and the way you were so brave, You are my hero!
I'll look after mum, dad, Dan, Aileen and Nic for you babe and i'll still do all the things we used to do together like club on sundays, racing on saturdays, when i'm not working that is. Just you keep loving me because one day we'll be reunited in heaven.
I love you so so much my precious always and forever
Your loving wife Maz x x x
marie leahy
November 1, 2008
I remember when you and Marie bought my house only 3 years ago. You were so excited and I was so pleased for you both, such a lovely young couple, who were very much in love and to put the icing on the cake you had just got engaged. I moved in over the road and although we never really had much to do with each other other I used to see you Marie alot nipping in and out of her car, you were always smiling and waved every time you saw me and my kids. I wandered what had happened to you both as hadnt seen you for a year and then to read that you had passed away was a huge shock and very upsetting. My love goes out to your gorgeous wife and I want you to know that I am only over the road if she needs anything. You will be greatly missed. Lifes loss, heavens gain. Rest in peace Sean and I would like to pass on my sympathy to all the family. Clare. xx
clare O'Hara
October 30, 2008

Already missing you like mad mate, and finding it hard to believe we will never share a pint, a tip or a laugh like we did. I am so proud of you and the person you will be to so many. Who am i gonna look up to now? Love you Sean Reast in Peace cuz! Dom xxx
Dominic Smith
October 29, 2008
Well, what can I say? Brother in law always sounds a bit distant to me, so I always drop the 'in law' bit when I talk about you. Life is a lot less colourful without you around and the word for how much we'll miss you hasn't been invented.
Sleep well sweetheart, lots of love
Aileen Morrison
October 28, 2008

Everyone that knew you knew what a fantastic person you were! I hope you're having a good time up there cuz and backing lots of winners, watch over us all and remember that we will never forget you! Love always. Vicky xx
Vicky Smith
October 27, 2008
From all the stories I heard about you Sean, you were quite a character. I only met you a few times however you never failed to crop up in conversation! Marie will do you so proud when Dan & Aileen marry next year.
Fiona Morrison
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