Newcastle dad laid to rest after falling into Dutch canal

Neil Stewart Credit: Family photo

By Kris Jepson

More than a hundred mourners gathered at Newcastle's West Road Crematorium to pay their respects to 30-year-old Neil Stewart.

The father of two from Newcastle's Westend has been laid to rest six weeks after he fell off a party boat into Amsterdam's North Sea Canal in November.

His mother, Alma Stewart, said in her eulogy, he was "my Neil, the loveable rogue" and "not one to mince his words, he was honest, considerate and very kind".

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In an emotional tribute she told the congregation how her son's "crowning glory" were his two children.

Neil loved life, and it was a roller coaster rise that's for sure. His job, holidays, his pals, his family... but it was his two children that were his crowning glory, for all of his faults and there were many! Those two children define what my son really was about and through them he will never be forgotten. They are the greatest gift he ever gave us. For a final time Neil 'Lots of Love Son', safe in the arms of loved ones.

Alma Stewart, Neil Stewart's mother

Mr Stewart's body was found after a major two week search by Dutch police.

During the search, boats from the fire service and the harbour company were launched and a police helicopter was deployed. Search teams also used sonar equipment and search dogs to help find him.

Neil Stewart and fiancee, Chelsea Credit: Family photo

Mr Stewart had been given the surprise weekend away to Amsterdam by his fiancee, Chelsea, and the couple had been celebrating the engagement of their friend, Glynn Ferris, on a party boat on one of the city's canals.