The heartbroken mother of a man whose body was recovered from the North Sea paid a touching poetic tribute to her son at his funeral service.
For eight weeks after he went missing on March 20 the family of 25-year-old Daniel Smith were unsure whether he was dead or alive.
In those harrowing weeks before his body was recovered, his distraught mum Cath Leach and family and friends carried out their own search of the coastline, where the last ping of his mobile phone was recorded.
In those desperate days, Cath, 45, of Livingstone Place, South Shields, wrote a poem which captured the feelings she had for her only son.
At his funeral service at the town’s Hedworth Hall, that poem was read out in tribute to Danny.
It included the lines: “I opened my eyes and saw the light. He looked at me and I just knew, the love I felt unconditionally true.
Here was a lad who was a true maverickKayren House
“I watched him thrive over time he grew, my love as a mother came shining through.”
Daniel’s loyalty to his family and friends and his passion for his beloved Newcastle United were also highlighted at the humanist service.
The congregation also adhered to the family’s wish to dress informally for the celebration of his life, with many wearing Newcastle tops with the word “Smithy”, Daniel’s nickname, written on the back.
Celebrant Kayren House also highlighted his lust for life, his love of music and his cheeky humour.
She added: “The more stories I heard about him the more I realised that here was a lad who was a true maverick.
“It is a word that describes an individual, a free-thinker. Someone who stood out, a rebel.
“Sometimes a loose cannon, but you could never be bored by Danny.
“But for all his bravado there was a serious, deeper side to Danny.
“He was undoubtedly sensitive and deep feeling.
“He was a lad with a massive heart and without a bad bone in his body.”
The service was followed by burial at Harton Cemetery.