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Mourners say goodbye to murdered Stephan Hollow
HUNDREDS of mourners said an emotional farewell to a popular grandfather who was stabbed to death outside his Basingstoke home.
It was standing room only at St Michael’s Church, in the town centre, for the funeral of Stephan Hollow, the 53-year-old father, who suffered fatal stab wounds outside his home in Blackdown Close, Buckskin, on Mon-day, August 19.
The funeral cortege left his home at 2.30pm last Friday and made its way to the church, in Church Square. Mr Hollow’s coffin was carried into the church by members of his family to the tune of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, by The Hollies, while more than 200 people looked on.
The Reverend John Wigmore, of St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Worting, led the service, and urged the congregation to forgive whoever caused Mr Hollow’s death.
He said that it may never become clear what happened on the night Mr Hollow died, when he is said to have stepped into an argument between his son Tyler, 22, and another man.
He said: “I am quite certain he did it without a thought for his own safety. He had an enormous thirst for life, an enormous dedication to succeed and an enormous smile on his face.”
The congregation heard tributes from Mr Hollow’s children, read out by The Rev Wigmore, about their favourite memories of their father. Jake, Mr Hollow’s two-year-old son, said he enjoyed bath time with his dad.
Mason Hollow, Mr Hollow’s brother, read out a poem he wrote specially for the service. It ended: “This is not a goodbye, I will see you all again one day/When you look into your heart, I will never be far away.”
Mr Hollow’s father Brian said his son had “lived life the way he wanted to”. He added: “He was a big bloke with a big personality, with a big smile. The world will be a poorer place without him, and I’m proud to be his dad.”
The church also heard of Mr Hollow’s work at the Littlewick Green Motor Company, for which he worked as a mechanic in both Swindon and Maidenhead, and his love of angling and his family.
Hymns included All Things Bright and Beautiful and Abide with Me, and the congregation left the church to the tune of I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys.
A private family service then took place at Basingstoke Crematorium, before the wake at The Royal Oak, in Worting Road, Buckskin.
l William Smith, 27, of Pershore Road, Popley, Basingstoke, has been charged with the murder of Mr Hollow, and with inflicting grievous bodily harm. He has been remanded in custody and a provisional trial date has been set for February next year.
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