FRIENDS and family have gathered to pay their last respects to Wayne Fotheringham, who died last month in the grounds of Burton Rugby Club.
The Carnarvon Chapel at Bretby Crematorium was packed with mourners yesterday who went along to remember the 41-year-old.
Mr Fotheringham, who was homeless, died in the early hours of Thursday, January 16, following a cardiac arrest.
At his funeral, messages from those close to him were read out paying tribute to the kind and funny man who was no longer with them.
One message, from his brother Carl, said: “Burton will definitely feel empty without seeing your face outside the JobCentre. It was the highlight of my week seeing my big brother acting the clown around town.
“Wayne really did have a good heart and he would go out of his way to help people with their problems, regardless of his own.”
Messages from his sisters and his son said how much they loved him and how they would miss him.
“I would like to thank you for helping me when I was homeless. I will never forget that,” a friend’s message read.
Another message from a close friend spoke fondly about the help Mr Fotheringham had given him bringing up his children, and mentioned a memorable trip to the seaside.
He loved fishing and was a big fan of music, those gathered were told.
‘Fast Car’, by Tracy Chapman, was played as Mr Fotheringham’s coffin was brought into the chapel, carried by friends and family members, and Lutricia McNeal’s ‘Ain’t That Just The Way’ was played during the ceremony.
Mr Fotheringham is understood to have been sleeping at the rugby club for some time before he died. Following his death, 41-year-old Andrew Smith was charged with supply of class A drugs. He remains in custody awaiting a court hearing.