Around 750 mourners paid tribute to a British soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan at a funeral service in his home city of Coventry.

Friends and family gathered at the city's cathedral for the service in remembrance of Sapper Guy Mellors, a bomb disposal expert who was killed while clearing bombs in the north east of Sangin district, Helmand. The 20-year-old, who served with 36 Engineer Regiment, died on February 15.

The congregation was led into the cathedral by Sapper Mellors' mother Linda Holland, his step-father Bill and two younger sisters Lana, 14, and Kia, 8.

Mrs Holland, who was visibly shaking as she arrived for the service, said of her son after he died: "He will always be our hero, he lived his dream."

Six colleagues from Sapper Mellors' regiment carried the coffin, which was draped in the union flag, into the cathedral, followed by a seventh comrade who carried a red floral tribute in the shape of a Volkswagen Beetle car.

During the funeral, tributes were read by his military colleagues, including one from his Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Hulme MBE, who described him as "simply outstanding".

Speaking after his death last month he said: "In Sapper Guy Mellors we had a Sapper of real talent. Extremely fit, enthusiastic, and with a dogged determination to make the most of every opportunity that presented itself, he rapidly established his credentials as a positive force and outgoing character amongst his peer group.

"Blessed with a zest for life, a quick wit and impish personality, he could always raise a smile, even in the most arduous circumstances - he laughed at others but was just as comfortable laughing at himself."

Sapper Mellors was trained as a searcher in a Royal Engineers advanced search team responsible for the detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas deemed high risk.

Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex, commanding officer, Counter IED Task Force, who described him as "a great team player", said: "Although it is a tragedy to lose such a fine soldier, it is a comfort knowing that through his efforts many lives were saved, and that his efforts are recognised in Helmand and back home in the UK."

The funeral, held with full military honours, was led by The Rev Canon Adrian Daffern.

A firing party fired a volley of shots outside the cathedral after the service. A private family reception was held afterwards at a local venue.