THE FAMILY of James Furlong have thanked people for their tributes and messages of support.
The Holt School history teacher was one of three men who died in a terror attack in Reading’s Forbury Gardens last Saturday night.
An online vigil will take place this evening at 7pm, and readers are encouraged to light a candle and place it on their doorstep or windowsill as a mark of respect to James as well as David Wails and Joseph Ritchie-Bennett.
Reading Borough Council’s part in the ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Berkshire from 6.55pm.
James’ family said that they wanted to thank emergency services for their support in the wake of last weekend’s attack, and also spoke of how proud they are of him.
They added that he had a real passion for his job.
“James was passionate about creating a more loving and caring society. His time with us was cut far too short but the impact he made will live on, long long into the future. His family, his friends and those who have met him – he made us all a better person,” they wrote.
“We are so proud of him. James was, and always will be, so very much loved by us all.”
James Furlong’s family’s statement in full
“We would like to start by thanking the Police for their ongoing help, including their remarkable bravery. They have been a pillar of support.
“Equally, we would like to express our gratitude to the emergency services, members of the public and the wider Reading community, who did all they could to help and save the lives of those who had been injured that night.
“Lastly, we are very grateful for the vast number of tributes and messages of support we have received. It has given us so much strength.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of Joe and David. We share your pain and your heartbreak.
“To James’ colleagues and pupils at the Holt School. He spoke often of how much he loved where he worked and his passion for developing the students. He cared so much and was very proud of each and every one of you.
“James was passionate about creating a more loving and caring society. His time with us was cut far too short but the impact he made will live on, long long into the future. His family, his friends and those who have met him – he made us all a better person.
“We are so proud of him. James was, and always will be, so very much loved by us all.
“Thank you. From the family of James Furlong.”