Unicorn-themed send-off for ‘wonderful’ Alison

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People wore purple and blue unicorn jumpers and clutched stuffed toys and teddy bears as they said goodbye to a ‘wonderful’ and ‘charming’ young girl.

Alison Hayden, 11, died on November 11 after a year-long battle with a rare type of bone cancer.

Funeral of Alison Hayden at St Christopher's Church on Hawes Side Lane

Funeral of Alison Hayden at St Christopher's Church on Hawes Side Lane

Her mum Amanda, dad Richard and older sister Rebecca, along with family and friends, paid tribute to the youngster’s bravery at her funeral at St Christopher’s Church on Hawes Side Lane yesterday.

Family and friends dressed as fluffy unicorns - Alison’s favourite animal - in her memory, while soulful renditions of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love and Anna Kendrick’s When I’m Gone were played.

In a reading at the church, Richard, of Lennox Gate, in South Shore, said: “Her infectious laugh could light up a room. It was impossible not to be charmed by Alison.

“There could never have been enough time to spend with our wonderful daughter. Our lives will never be the same without her.

Funeral of Alison Hayden at St Christopher's Church on Hawes Side Lane

Funeral of Alison Hayden at St Christopher's Church on Hawes Side Lane

“She will live forever in our hearts.”

Rebecca said: “Alison has always been a character, one who is as loving as anyone can ever be.

“She had everyone wrapped around her finger. Her charming little smile will never leave my memory.

“She will always be in our hearts for as long as we live.

Funeral of Alison Hayden at St Christopher's Church on Hawes Side Lane

Funeral of Alison Hayden at St Christopher's Church on Hawes Side Lane

“This isn’t goodbye, and we will see her again soon.

“Never take anyone for granted because you don’t know how fast you’re going to lose them.”

Alison, who loved collecting dolls and watching Disney films, won Radio Wave’s prestigious Bravest Youngster award last year.

She was a pupil at Hawes Side Academy, and was a member of Blackpool scouts.

Alison Hayden, her mum Amanda and dad Richard

Alison Hayden, her mum Amanda and dad Richard

At the funeral, Father Stuart Tomlinson described the youngster as ‘a star’ and a ‘supernova’, praising her generosity and charisma.

Alison’s mum Amanda said: “It’s amazing that everyone came out here to send her off.”