Family, friends, fans and players paid an emotional goodbye to ‘extraordinary’ Accrington Stanley saviour Jack Barrett.
More than 100 mourners came together to pay tribute to the Reds legend, who passed away on April 1.
Mr Barrett, of West Crescent, Accrington, will be remembered for helping resurrect the club in 1968, six years after its departure from the Football League.
A 30-strong car procession left Stanley’s ground before making the journey to St John’s Church in Accrington town centre.
Father Lawrence Carson-Featham led the service and described Jack, 88, as an ‘ordinary man who did extraordinary things in his life’.
He said: “It’s a testament to the high regard and esteem that there are so many people here from the town and further afield.
“Jack had a passion for social responsibility and trade union matters and still found time to keep a lovely garden and spend plenty of time with his wife Jean and his boys.
“He was great fun to be with and utterly dependable. He was always there, particularly for his young sons when needed.
“He was greatly loved, valued and respected and will be greatly missed.”
The Royal Navy war veteran and retired postman served for 10 years as secretary of the committee at Accrington Stanley and was made a life member of the club in 1978.
He was a regular at Reds games both home and away and in 2011 was granted the Freedom of the Borough of Hyndburn.
Stanley players and staff attended the funeral including managing director Rob Heys and former England striker Francis Jeffers.
Hyndburn Mayor John Broadley and his wife Jean paid their respects along with council leader Miles Parkinson.
During the service Jack’s son Stephen Barrett read the John Masefield poem Sea Fever.
Speaking afterwards Reds fans and club officials paid tribute to Jack.
Paul Fox, 34, from Accrington, attended along with his 12-year-old son Liam.
He said: “It is because of Jack we have a football team. We wanted to come and show our thanks as otherwise my lad wouldn’t have a team to support.”
Club director Bill Holden, who knew Mr Barrett for seven years, said: “Jack always had time for everyone and had a smile on his face.
“It really is a tribute to see so many people here today from all walks of life.”