Hockey team form guard of honour at funeral of Royal Preston Hospital nurse who died aged 27

Katy Marie Blezard died on Friday, November 8, aged 27 years. Pic: Lucy Blezard
Katy Marie Blezard died on Friday, November 8, aged 27 years. Pic: Lucy Blezard

A Ribble Valley village has paid its final respects to a well-loved nurse who died aged 27.


Chipping celebrated the life of a well-loved resident on November 21, when the funeral of Katy Marie Blezard took place at St Bartholomew’s Parish Church.

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to pay their respects whilst Longridge Hockey Club made a guard of honour as Katys hearse passed through her hometown of Chipping in the Ribble Valley. Pic: Lucy Blezard

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to pay their respects whilst Longridge Hockey Club made a guard of honour as Katys hearse passed through her hometown of Chipping in the Ribble Valley. Pic: Lucy Blezard

Katy, affectionately known as ‘Blez’ to family and friends, had been a staff nurse on the critical care ward at Royal Preston Hospital prior to her death on November 8.

A well-known character in Chipping, Katy's family said the 27-year-old had "passed away peacefully", but did not confirm her cause of death.

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to applaud and cheer as Katy made her final journey through the village.

Longridge Hockey Club formed a guard of honour outside Katy's favourite local pub, The Sun Inn, as the funeral procession made its way towards St Bartholomew’s.

Her team mates held their hockey sticks aloft in honour of their keeper as the hearse's stereo filled the street with the electronic beats of Katy’s favourite musician, Swedish DJ Avicii.

Katy's family has thanked all those who attended her funeral and helped with the service.

Her family said: "Christine, Andrew, Lucy and John wish to express their sincere gratitude to all those who attended Katy’s farewell and gave her the send off she deserved.

"Special thanks go firstly to Longridge Hockey Club who lovingly led Katy’s coffin into church and who proudly gathered to form her guard of honour.

"Thank you to Annie and Rob of The Sun Inn, Katy’s second home and family.

"Annie spoke words from the heart at Katy’s service and, together with Rob, hosted Katy’s memorial drinks and hog roast - ensuring the Fosters were flowing and the dancing went on long into the night.

"Thanks to Nick and all at William Houghton Funeral Services for the love and care shown to Katy and her family, and to Annabel Davies, Katy’s childhood friend, and her team at Co-op Funeralcare for conducting the beautiful send off.

"Also thanks to Reverend Fiona Jenkins for her kind words at the service, to Rose Ireland for the beautiful floral tribute, to Farrah Burns for the personalised service sheets, and finally, thank you to Alex Coward and his team at the Old Oak in Longridge, who have been fantastic in supporting the hockey club.

"Christine, Andrew, Lucy and John would also like to say a huge thank you to all family, friends, colleagues and neighbours for the kind expressions of sympathy, the cards of condolence and for the continued support they receive.

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"From good times and giggles, Fosters to Farewell, Katy our hearts and world will miss you forever", said the family.

A collection in memory of Katy accepted donations to both Longridge Hockey Club and Endometriosis UK and has raised over £2,000.