“Charismatic” teen’s funeral attended by hundreds

THE funeral of a “charismatic,” “vibrant” and “academically brilliant” 17-year-old was attended by hundreds in Royston yesterday.

Friends and family were remembering James Woodall, who died from injuries suffered when his bike was in collision with a car on March 7.

Classmates from St Mary’s Primary School, Bassingbourn Village College and Hills Road Sixth Form College filled Royston Parish Church to pay their respects to James, who leaves father Ian, mother Clare and sister Natasha.

In tribute to his son, James’ dad Ian said: “We have today said goodbye to our wonderful son James. I don’t think my wife would mind me saying that James outshone both of us academically. He was brilliant at maths and sciences, taking his GCSE maths a year early and was on course for As in AS-levels this summer.

“He wanted to be a scientist. We’ll never know now but maybe he could have gone on to discover something that would have changed the world.

“We’ll miss him always but will not be the only ones. We have been surprised by the number of cards we have received – over 300 so far and they are still arriving.

“We have been greatly touched by the support we have received not just from people who know us but from James’ friends far and wide.”

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James, who moved to Wimpole from Royston with his famliy in December, had achieved 12 A grades in his GCSEs and had worked for local charity Friends of Chernobyl Children.

A speech read on behalf of the family said: “He was an individual, would do exactly what he liked and would always outsmart people.

“He was charismatic, had a vibrant outlook on life and lived for the day.”

Friend James Stott, who attended Bassingbourn Village College and Hills Road with James, said: “Whenever he was around he gave an air of confidence to people. I always felt safe and calm in his presence.

“He had a knack of spurring people on at things and his personality will never be forgotten.”

James was cycling to school when he was in collision with a car near the junction of the A603 Hurdleditch Road near Orwell.

He was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital but died from his injuries on March 13.