Northampton grandfather finally laid to rest five months after death thanks to kindness of strangers

After five months, John Edward Rowe has finally been laid to rest.
After five months, John Edward Rowe has finally been laid to rest.

A Northampton grandfather has finally been laid to rest nearly five months after his death thanks to an online fundraising drive.

John Edward Rowe died on March 28 this year aged 76 after losing the battle with oesophagal cancer.

John Edward Rowe died in March 2018 after losing the battle with oesophagal cancer.

John Edward Rowe died in March 2018 after losing the battle with oesophagal cancer.

But after his family was unable to pay the £3,400 bill for his funeral, grandson Curtis Colt told the Chronicle of the "heartache" he felt at being unable to give his grandad a send-off.

But now, after raising thousands of pounds online and receiving donations from florists, funeral directors and even the Cobblers, Mr Rowe finally received the funeral he deserved on Friday (August 17).

Curtis, 20, said: "There are no words for it. It's quite overwhelming and it makes me very emotional that people would come out to support someone they've never met. It really restores my faith in humanity."

After sharing his story with the Chronicle, Curtis set up a GoFundMe page to help pay the costs of his grandad's funeral.

But within days, Curtis's page had raised over £500, and featured on ITV Central News.

After that, donations from across the country rolled in to help the grandson. A total of £500 was donated by a woman in Aberdeen, and even Cobblers goalkeeper David Cornell pitched in to help.

Curtis said: "I even spoke to the chairman of NTFC and his colleagues donated £500 too. they must have known what a big Cobblers fan grandad had been.

"After that, a gentleman from Prosperous Life funeral planning got in touch saying he would pay off the rest of the costs.

His family was concerned Mr Rowe would be sent off with a pauper's funeral.

His family was concerned Mr Rowe would be sent off with a pauper's funeral.

"They were all complete strangers. I'm just so grateful."

Within just two weeks, the page had raised over £2,800 - nearly double the original target of £1,500 to pay the upfront third-party fees.

Mr Rowe's funeral was finally held at Counties Crematorium on August 17. After his family's worries that they would have to accept a pauper's funeral, he arrived in a limousine with a Cobblers' flag draped over his coffin.

Flowers were donated by a local florist and NTFC fan-favourite song The Fields Are Green was played as mourners left.

Curtis said: "Right now, I'm still sad. It's been very emotional. I'm still grieving but I'm just relieved that he's finally at rest."

Mr Rowe's funeral was directed by Mark Elliott Funeral Services.