The family of the late Alan Walmsley say they have been “absolutely overwhelmed” by the support they have received from the community and wish to say a big thank you.
They describe the turnout on the day of Alan’s funeral as “phenomenal”.
Around 500 people turned out to pay their last respects to Alan, of Mardale Road, Longridge, either at his funeral, cremation or later in the day.
Speaking afterwards, his son Jason Walmsley said: “It was unbelievable really.
“The family didn’t realise how many people he knew,” adding there had been so many different generations present.
There had been standing room only at St Lawrence’s Church and he said a crowd of about 40 from Alan’s employers James Hall had joind them at the crematorium.
And yet more friends went on to St Wilfrid’s Club after they had finished work.
He said the family had been inundated with cards and letters since Alan, who was 62, died in an accident on the M6 over two weeks ago.
Also, besides donations given for Longridge’s Ollie and Jade Fund, two friends, Sam and Faz, raised £500 towards a bench it is hoped to place at Mardale in Alan’s memory, by having their hair cut on the day of the funeral.
One of three friends who paid tribute during the eulogy, Steve Southworth, told of how former footballer Alan, who went on to manage local teams and act as secretary, became known as ‘Jossy’.
He said: “Jossy got his nickname from a TV series in the 80s called Jossy’s Giants.
“He had an uncanny resemblance to the star, a man who had a real passion for football and for the community – a real larger than life character, full of fun and prone to the occasional mishap.”
Besides Jossy’s love of football, Steve said he had been an active fund raiser, helping to raise thousands of pounds over the years, which all went to local good causes.
“In more recent years, he has been the driving force behind the Ollie and Jade committee,” he said.
Originally from Ribchester, Alan met wife of 43 years, Jacqs at Longridge High School and started out in life as a mechanic at Willacy and Bakers on Berry Lane, Longridge, moving on to Carefoot’s as a labourer, where he later became an HGV driver and went to work for James Hall.
“Alan was a good friend to many people.
“A loving husband to Jacqs and loving father to Jason, Ian and Donna.
“He was a man deeply loved by all his family and will be sroely missed by everyone here today,” concluded friend Jimmy Cross during the eulogy.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
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