Dozens of mourners gathered to bade a tearful goodbye to a Sheffield brass band maestro with more than 75 years of loyal service.
Derek Garner, aged 86, of Springvale Road, Crookes, passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 12 in hospital.
Members of the Loxley Silver Band, where Derek was a loyal servant, formed the funeral cortège and performed his favourite march tune, Slaidburn.
Glowing tributes were paid to Derek at his funeral at Grenoside Crematorium.
He was described as ‘loving’ and ‘gentle’ man who was devoted to and proud of his family.
Derek, who was born in Upperthorpe, before moving to Loxley as a young child, was used as a runner during the Second World War, passing messages from one Home Guard station to another.
He joined Loxley Silver Band at the age of seven and was an active member up until 18 months ago.
The congregation was told of Derek’s passion for playing the cornet in the band and his love of gardening, attending to the allotment with Dorothy, his wife of more than 60 years.
The Reverend Jane Sharpe told mourners: “Many have said in the cards that the family have received how much of a lovely man he was. A loving man, a gentle man.
“He would help anybody, any one of you, and always had a lovely sense of humour and always had a joke to tell.”
The Rev Sharpe also recalled Derek’s love of holidays in Scarborough with his grandchildren and the sandcastle competitions they used to have.
The congregation heard how he played at both Bramall Lane on a Boxing Day morning and at Hillsborough on the same afternoon with the band.
Derek’s son Phil, 60, spoke of fond memories of his late father.
“He played all over the place, Stannington, Loxley, Crosspool everywhere,” he said.
“I can remember that he played on Christmas Day, playing to the farmers across Sheffield and would come home after for his dinner.”
Brass band players from 10 groups attended the service with one coming as far as Bradford to pay their respects.
Loxley Silver Band formed a guard of honour as the coffin was carried into the service.