Bournemouth EchoHundreds at marathon woman funeral (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Hundreds at marathon woman funeral

Bournemouth Echo: Mourners arrive at St Andrew's Church in North Kilworth, Leicestershire, for the funeral of Claire Squires Mourners arrive at St Andrew's Church in North Kilworth, Leicestershire, for the funeral of Claire Squires

Hundreds of people have attended a funeral to pay their respects to a woman who was described as having "left a legacy" after her supporters raised more than £1 million for charity following her death during the London Marathon.

Some 700 family, friends and well-wishers packed into St Andrew's Church in North Kilworth, Leicestershire, for a service to celebrate the life of hairdresser Claire Squires, who collapsed and died less than a mile from the finishing line of the 26.2-mile course on Birdcage Walk near Buckingham Palace on April 22.

The congregation wore touches of red, the 30-year-old's favourite colour, at the request of the family.

Since her death, her supporters have helped to raise more than £1 million for the Samaritans.

Miss Squires was running for the Samaritans in recognition of work done by her mother, who volunteered for the charity for 24 years.

Leading the service, Baptist minister and family friend Pastor Johnny Hutton said: "Many people have said that Claire was so much like that Samaritan who was prepared to help someone regardless of who they were or where they came from."

Some 200 people packed into the 150-seater church, while hundreds more listened to the service outside through a speaker system.

The service followed a private burial which saw Miss Squire laid to rest in the same grave as her brother Grant, who died at the age of 25 in 2001.

Miss Squires' parents Priscilla, known as Cilla, and Paul were not present at the burial but attended the funeral service afterwards with her sisters Maxine, Nicola and Penny.

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