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.”