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There was no time for blogging yesterday, the day was taken up with Tony’s funeral and the gathering in the Big 6 pub afterwards. It was a sad day, but also one filled with laughter, because so many of us had great memories of Tony to share and remember. The public event was at St Jude’s church on Savile Park, near where Tony lived. The hearse turned up outside his house and a hundred or so of his friends and pub regulars walked behind for the short journey to the church, where many more joined us. During the service memories of Tony were shared. I’ve a copy of the brilliant eulogy which was written by ‘Mel’, an old friend of Tony’s and read out by the vicar. I’ll edit it and publish it as a separate blog in Tony’s memory as it fleshes out his life – which was a full one. I certainly learned a lot about Tony’s early life and brewing career.

After the church ceremony a small group of us escorted the hearse to the crematorium for a private ceremony. At the Crem’, Steve Parker, a good friend and stalwart of Tony’s help during his illness read out this prayer which was printed in the order of service

After saying our final farewells to Tony we met up with the other mourners back at the Big 6 pub which had opened early especially for the occasion. Needless to say, it was packed. Alison (the ‘new’ manager who’s worked there for years) and the staff had laid on food which would have really appealed to Tony. Pork pies – several hundred of them of all different types! After all, what could be better than a pie and a pint? OK, the pint became several as many of us stayed until the evening! Here’s a couple of pictures from the day, just to give you an idea.

The cover of the order of service used a crop of a picture I’d taken of Tony at one of our many events together. I’d forgotten I’d taken it to be honest, but I’m glad I did as it’s Tony to a T.
No-one went short of a pork pie in the Big 6 after the funeral! Oh, vegetarians were catered for too as all the pasties and sausage rolls on the table in the back are all meat-free.
The staff from Phoenix brewery were at the funeral. Some were pall-bearers. They’d also brewed a special beer in his memory which was served at the Big 6.

So, farewell Tony, you will be missed, but we have some fabulous memories of you, the times together an the laughs we shared – and your legacy will live on in the Phoenix Brewery, bringing pleasure to many for many years yet…

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