Military salutes Wigan veteran and council worker Eric
Standard bearers from the Royal British Legion (RBL) walked in front of the cortege bringing Eric Disley on his final journey to Wigan Crematorium.
The Union Jack flags flew proudly and the coffin bearing Mr Disley, who has died aged 86, was also draped in the national colours.
Tributes have been paid following his death on October 17, with Mr Disley being remembered fondly both for his time serving on the front line and as a stalwart employee of Wigan Council for many years.
His niece Kathryn Wilson said he entered the military as a young man after leaving school and after his time doing his duty for his country joined the parks and leisure section of Wigan Council, a role he greatly enjoyed.
Ms Wilson said: “He spoke a little bit about his time in the military but it was always quite vague.
“He spoke more about work. He actually worked at Ince Crematorium for a spell and also spent time at Haigh Hall. He did all the bedding plants for the big displays at places like the Cherry Gardens roundabout.
“He loved his work. He also spent a lot of time in his garden and everything had to be perfect. Outdoors gardening was where he was happiest.
“His death was expected as he had been very poorly but it is still hard for us.”
On the way to the crematorium the funeral procession stopped at Mesnes Park in honour of his 36 years working at the popular green spot.
Born in Burscough, Mr Disley moved to Wigan with his family when he was young due to his father’s work on the railway.
He lived much of his life in the Beech Hill Lane area and also spent time in Scholes in his latter years, finally moving into sheltered accommodation at Withington Grange in New Springs after a major stroke.
Mr Disley was also a massive Wigan Athletic fan, owning shares in the club, racking up an enormous collection of programmes from matches he attended over the years and helping out with odd jobs on game days at the old Springfield Park ground which was close to where he lived.
Ms Wilson said: “He loved football. The day before he died he asked me who Latics were playing that weekend.”
Tributes on Facebook revealed Mr Disley kept in touch with fellow servicemen, attending the RBL until he became ill. A lifelong bachelor, he is survived by his nieces Ms Wilson and Elaine Dean.