Tributes have been paid to a much-loved former police sergeant who has died aged 61.
So many people turned out for the funeral of Phil Nowland on Friday, that loud speakers had to be erected at Preston Crematorium.
Wife Ann, 59, of Fulwood, said: “Phil was always the life and soul of the party. He was always telling jokes that nobody understood, and he was always there to help people.”
Phil was born in Plymouth, but moved to the Ashton area of Preston aged three, because of his father’s job in the police.
Phil himself joined the force as a cadet in 1968, and was able to indulge his love of motorbikes while working on the traffic unit.
He also spent over a decade on the elite regional crime squad, requiring him to ride his bike undercover, following criminals across the country.
Ann said: “He absolutely adored his bikes and at holiday time the two of us would go for thousands and thousands of miles on the back of one all over Europe.”
After retiring from 33 years with the police, Phil and Ann began working as holiday reps in Fuerteventura, but gave up because they missed children Lee, Marc and Adam too much.
Lee, 39, is a barrister, Marc, 34, is a police officer in Blackpool, and Adam, 32, is a former professional footballer , now coaching in Seattle
Ann said: “Our children have all done well and a lot of that is down to Phil. We’ve been parents who have always put the children first.”
She added that Phil was also a “devoted” grandad to Lee’s five children.
Phil began working as an insurance investigator for DWF Solicitors in Preston before his death from oesophageal cancer while on holiday in Dorset, on August 7, nine months after diagnosis.
His funeral contained Northern Soul music that he spent his life collecting.