Redditch's Josh Baker remembered at moving funeral service - The Redditch Standard

Redditch's Josh Baker remembered at moving funeral service

Redditch Editorial 13th Jun, 2024   0

FAMILY and friends of Worcestershire County cricketer, Josh Baker, joined each other to celebrate the Redditch-born sportsman’s life at his funeral.

One of Josh’s former headteacher’s, Chris, led the service on Monday (June 10) at Redditch Crematorium which celebrated the cricketer’s inspiring life and kind and thoughtful personality.

Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles played as mourners entered the crematorium to honour Josh, who died aged 20 on May 2.

Alongside the family members and friends gathered in the crematorium and outside, a livestream was made available to the public while the service was also shown at Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s HQ at New Road in Worcester.

Early on in the service, in a lighthearted tribute to Josh’s love of music and karaoke, attendees were encouraged to sing along to the John Denver song Take Me Home, Country Roads which became a favourite of Josh’s during his time at Malvern College. Chris described Josh as a ‘lovely man’ who was proud to be living his dream of playing professional cricket.

He said: “We’re here to lay him to rest and say some farewells.

“It’s an opportunity to say thank you for that life and above all to celebrate Josh and all he has meant, means and always will mean to everyone gathered here today in his honour.”

Ahead of Chris reading out tributes to Josh from family and friends, Josh’s mother Lisa read the poem Loving the Gone by Sarah Rhian.

She read: “People grow used to your absence and yet you are so present to me.

“I thought you dying would be the worst part of this but I couldn’t survive you being forgotten.”

Chris went on to read out tributes from Josh’s coaches, family members, friends and others who described the 20-year-old as ‘passionate’, talented’, ‘lovely’, ‘funny’, ‘sensitive’, and ‘resilient’ among many other touching sentiments.

Lisa and Paul, Josh’s parents, referred to him as their ‘world’. A son who they were ‘so proud of’ for everything he did.

Later a photo tribute showcasing lasting memories of Josh throughout his childhood and later years was shown on a screen as Drops of Jupiter by Train played over the speakers.

After the photo tribute, the leader of the service invited attendees to stand and give Josh a round of applause as a ‘small gesture of love and gratitude for the life we were able to share with him’.

As the service drew to a close Waterloo by ABBA played in the crematorium as attendees gathered one by one near Josh’s coffin to spend their last moments with him in quiet reflection.

Following the funeral, a ‘service of memories’ was held at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

Supporters of Josh have been encouraged to donate to Diabetes UK and British Heart Foundation in his honour.


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