Farewell to star student and sportsman Yianni
A “beautiful” ceremony for the law student was held at Charnock Richard Crematorium on Wednesday, followed by a celebration party at St Ambrose Church Hall in Leyland, attended by 300 people.
Yianni’s mum Diane Oakden said: “It was just a beautiful funeral with a lot of fantastic memories shared by everyone.
“People came from the local area, from Sheffield, London, Manchester and Cyprus. I realised how loved my son was.”
The talented footballer had recently completed a law degree at Sheffield University, and was about to finish his Legal Practice Course (LPC).
He had been nominated for the Chancellor’s Award at Sheffield University and was due to begin a training contract with a global law firm.
Yianni, who grew up in Leyland, was half Greek and one of five siblings. Half of his ashes are going to be scattered in Greece, with brother Mano wind-surfing them out to sea, to reflect his brother’s love of the sport.
Mano described Yianni as “a really devoted family guy” and “a constant inspiration”.
His family said he had been on every sports team during his time at Worden High School, and had been captain of Ribble Wanderers.
A memorial award is to be set up in his name at Worden and there is to be another at his law school. In addition to this, Diane - who has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis - is hoping to set up a charity or fundraiser in Yianni’s name, to raise cash for young people with MS.