Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Friday, 14 September 2007 16:24 UK

Husband speaks of Jane heartbreak

Mike Tomlinson speaking at his late wife's funeral
Mike Tomlinson paid tribute to his wife's positive attitude

The husband of Jane Tomlinson, speaking during a tribute at her funeral, said he felt "truly humbled" to have shared his life with the charity fund-raiser.

Mike Tomlinson said his wife's death had left an immense gap in her heartbroken family.

The Bishop of Leeds said Mrs Tomlinson was a woman of "exceptional courage and great faith".

Mrs Tomlinson died aged 43 in St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds on 3 September after a seven-year battle with cancer.

'Truly humbled'

Delivering a eulogy to the 450-strong congregation, Mr Tomlinson said his wife's positive attitude "had the ability to change lives".

He said: "Always accepting of her fate, she prayed not for a miracle cure but only to find peace.

Jane Tomlinson

"Her prophetic wisdom is a lasting legacy to the family."

He went on to say his wife had "cherished her family above all else".

"She was immensely proud of all three children. They brought her unimaginable joy.

"It was this love for them that drove her on to having chemo after chemo.

"Words seem insufficient to describe how painful the loss of Jane has been to us.

"Jane, on behalf of Suzanne, Rebecca and Steven, we love you deeply, thanks for all the fabulous memories. They will last a lifetime."

'Love and happiness'

Bishop Arthur Roche earlier paid tribute to Mrs Tomlinson, describing her as "a very brave and courageous young woman".

Hundreds of mourners watched the funeral Mass on big screens in Millennium Square.

There was spontaneous applause from the crowds outside the cathedral as the cortege arrived, and some mourners threw flowers into the road.

Funeral of Jane Tomlinson
Jane Tomlinson's priest said she had an "indomitable spirit"

Mr Tomlinson and the couple's three children Steven, 10, Rebecca, 19, and Suzanne, 21, were then met outside the cathedral by the bishop.

As the service got under way, Mrs Tomlinson's priest, Father Patrick Smythe, told the 450-strong congregation that "love and happiness" featured in all parts of the fund-raiser's life.

He said: "Her gladness shone out of her radiant smile... anyone facing difficulties in life found encouragement in her determination, in her indomitable spirit".

At the end of the service, crowds once again applauded as the coffin was carried to the hearse for the family to attend a private service.

Throughout her terminal illness Mrs Tomlinson raised more than 1.5m for charity, running three London marathons, as well as taking part in triathlons and a series of bike rides, including one from the west coast to the east coast of America.

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The Bishop of Leeds spoke of Jane Tomlinson's courage


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