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Friday, 26 October 2012 (3031991)
Tarleton brought to a standstill as hundreds pay tribute to Mike Jones at funeral
by David Simister

HUNDREDS of mourners have paid a final farewell to talented footballer Mike Jones at a poignant funeral in his home village of Tarleton.

The village was brought to a standstill last Friday (October 26) as tributes were paid to Mike Jones as a procession travelled through the village from the pavilion of his former club Tarleton Corinthians, on Carr Lane, to Holy Trinity Church.

Lindsay Bowler, landlady at the Cock and Bottle, where the funeral reception was held, told national media: “The traffic in the village came to a standstill and the church was packed. The service was relayed by loudspeakers so people who couldn't get in could hear it.

”People from the village have been arriving from eight this morning with cakes and things for the buffet because they wanted to help.“

Mike Jones - affectionately known to friends in both the USA and UK as Jonesey - was fatally stabbed in Manhattan on October 7. Police are still searching for suspect Orlando Orea, 32, who is believed to have fled to Mexico two days after the killing.

Tributes have paid to him both in West Lancashire, where he was a talented pupil of Tarleton High School and a star player at both Tarleton Corinthians and nearby Hesketh Bank FC, and in New York, where he was pursuing a promising career as a youth soccer coach for US Major League team the New York Red Bulls. His ashes will be scattered at Southport Crematorium.

The 25-year-old's funeral follows both an earlier memorial service in New York, attended by hundreds of well-wishers, and an act of remembrance by Tarleton Corinthians, where 25 balloons were released in his memory.


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