AROUND 600 mourners packed into Earlston Parish Church last Thursday to pay their respects to popular teenager Scott Johnston.
The service was attended by family, neighbours, football team-mates and work colleagues who heard readings and poems dedicated to the 18-year-old, who died as a passenger in a car crash near Westruther on New Year’s Day.
The congregation then headed to the town’s cemetery where Scott was laid to rest.
An illness as a baby, which required doses of chemotherapy and a major operation, led to Scott being smaller than the other boys. But he recovered and attended Earlston primary and the nearby high school, and went on to play football for his hometown and Lauder’s clubs before joining Border Amateur League side Earlston Rhymers.
After leaving school, Scott secured his perfect job as an apprentice agricultural engineer with Lloyd Ltd in Kelso, while he also attended Reaseheath College, near Crewe in Cheshire.
Lloyd’s closed last Thursday to allow more than 50 staff to pay their respects to Scott.
Prior to the service, parents Alan and Lynda paid tribute to their much-loved son, who was also an older brother to 16-year-old Ryan and Becky, 14.
Alan said: “You couldn’t have asked for a nicer boy. Scott saw the good in everyone – and everyone saw the good in him.”
He added: “He was always slight in stature because of his chemotherapy, but over the past year he matured into a strong, tall young man. He’d become taller than me and it helped with his football.”
Along with football, he also had a passion for his car.
Lynda said: “You never had to worry about Scott. He was so careful when he was driving and never took risks.
“He was such a nice boy that went out of his way to be as nice as he could to everyone. He loved nothing more than being at home with his family in his armchair playing FIFA or lying across the couch watching football with a bottle of Irn Bru.
“I can’t think of a single person who had a bad word to say about Scott.”
The family thanked everyone who attended Scott’s service, who helped to raise £1,924 for the Sick Kids’ Hospital, as well as those who gave readings and poems.
They also thanked the Reverend Julie Woods for her words of comfort and to undertakers Robbie and Jacqueline Brown.
Meanwhile, police say the 17-year-old driver of the Mitsubishi Evo involved in the single-vehicle accident, named locally as Bobby Thornton from Lauder, remains in a “critical, but stable” condition in hospital.