MOURNERS donned pink to bid an emotional farewell to a young girl whose battle with cancer touched the hearts of a North-East community.

Hundreds of people packed into St John’s Church, in Shildon, County Durham, yesterday for the funeral of Chloe Clark, 12, who died on January 18, nine months after being diagnosed with her second brain tumour in five years.

The Shildon Jubilee Jazz Band, where Chloe used to be a member, formed a guard of honour and played Amazing Grace as the funeral cortege arrived and departed from the church, which was decorated inside with pink and heart-shaped balloons.

Tributes from Chloe’s loved ones described her as “Shildon’s princess”, who loved dressing-up, and whose dream came true in October when she got to be a princess for the day during a royal-themed party at Redworth Hall, near Newton Aycliffe.

The event took place after she was jointly christened with her younger brother, Lewis, thanks to a fundraising campaign which raised thousands of pounds.

The Reverend Rupert Kalus, who conducted the funeral service, said Chloe’s family wanted it to be a celebration of her life.

“Chloe was brave, cheeky and full of spirit, and even after everything that had happened to her, she was just a lovely little girl,” he said.

“She loved simply being at home with her mother, Clare, siblings Lauren and Lewis, and visiting her father, David, in Scotland.

“It was Chloe’s warmth and friendliness that won her so many friends – adults as well as children.

She faced the worst things in life with nothing more than a little complaint at having her blood taken.

“Her life was so tragically cut short, but so rich in love given and received.”

On behalf of Chloe’s mother, Mr Kalus thanked relatives, friends, medical staff, and her former schools – St John’s Primary School, in Shildon, and The Oaks, in Spennymoor – for their help and support.

Meanwhile, The Oaks school held a non-uniform day for pupils and staff to wear pink in memory of Chloe, and her classmates sent handmade cards containing memories of their friend, to Chloe’s family.

■ The Northern Echo attended the funeral with the permission of Chloe’s family.