Mourners donned their favourite team’s colours at the funeral of a popular football supporters club founder.
More than 500 people attended Blackburn Rovers fan Stephen Howard’s funeral at St Wulstan’s Church, Great Harwood following his sudden death, aged 65.
The recently retired painter and decorator, who was an amateur photographer and founding member of Great Harwood Rovers supporters club, suffered a sudden cardiac death at his home on Bridge Street on Monday, July 1.
The eldest of his four children Shaun, 41, said loved ones are still in shock following his death.
Shaun, of Blackburn Road, Great Harwood, said: “There were 500 people in and around the church for his funeral, which was overwhelming. We couldn’t believe it and would like to thank everyone who supported him and us. He got to know so many people through painting in their homes and through football and for living in Great Harwood as long as he did. We are devastated that he he has gone.
“Dad just didn’t have a bad word for anyone and always had time to stop in the street for a natter. It would take him an hour and a half to go to the shop and get a loaf.
“He was always up and down town in his painting gear. There was more on him than there was on the walls.
“He was also a really good photographer and covered a lot of weddings in his younger days and even had his own dark room.
“He never complained about anything and was a character around the town.”
His other son Steven said he was very grateful to Jacquard Weaving in Withnell who made a flag for his dad’s coffin, Ann Keller and friends for the buffet at the wake, photographer Nick Bond and everyone who gave flowers.
Stephen was a Blackburn Rovers fan who also liked to socialise with his friends, especially Lol Briggs.
He was father to Shaun, 41, Scott, 38, Stacey, 31 and Steven, 29. Stephen also leaves grandchildren Breanna, Jenson and Olivia and brothers John and Martin. He was son of the late Albert (John) and Agnes Howard, a dearly loved father-in-law.
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