Final farewell for plane crash victim

Tragic twins: Glenn Thomas and his twin sister Tracey who has organised a non-religious ceremony to honour the former Highfield High School pupil at Lytham's Lowther Pavilion on October 15.
Tragic twins: Glenn Thomas and his twin sister Tracey who has organised a non-religious ceremony to honour the former Highfield High School pupil at Lytham's Lowther Pavilion on October 15.

The sister of a Blackpool man who died in the Ukraine air tragedy say reality has not yet “hit home”.

The body of Glenn Thomas was flown home last week, two months after he and 297 fellow passengers lost their lives after the Malaysia Airlines plane they were travelling on was shot down over the war-torn nation.

Now, his family are preparing to give Mr Thomas, from South Shore, a worthy send-off and have announced his funeral will be held at Lowther Pavilion, Lytham, on October 15.

His twin sister Tracey Withers, 50, said: “I don’t think it’s hit anybody and everybody has that same sort of feeling. Reality’s not really hit us yet. When you lose someone in this way it still doesn’t seem real, even now.”

The non-religious ceremony will be held at the popular venue due to the large number of mourners set to attend.

Family friend Debbie Horsfield, from Jeffrey Horsfield funeral directors, is organising the service. She said: “It’s going to be more of a service of celebration as opposed to a traditional funeral service. Tracey’s been truly inspirational. The whole family has been so composed and dignified, they’ve been remarkable.”

Glenn worked as a journalist on the Fylde coast before going on to work for the BBC and Granada. He was a keen traveller and spent the last 10 years living in Switzerland, where he had been working as a press officer for the World Health Organisation in Geneva. He is survived by Tracey, brother-in-law Mark, nephew Jordan, niece Brittany and his partner Claudio, who he lived with in Switzerland.

The funeral will begin at noon, with a family committal at Lytham Park Crematorium afterwards. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Feet First, a charity run by Glenn’s friend Steve Mannion and which he was instrumental in founding.