Special send-off for Penwortham ‘legend’

FOND FAREWELL: Tony McGuinness' coffin on the back of a McGuinness Feeds lorry

FOND FAREWELL: Tony McGuinness' coffin on the back of a McGuinness Feeds lorry

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A moving tribute has been paid to a “local legend” who has died aged 83.

Tony McGuinness’ coffin was carried to St Teresa’s Church in Penwortham last week on the back of a DAF XF 105 truck - from a fleet of vehicles belonging to the McGuinness Feeds business which he founded in 1976.

He was the Father Christmas who went round the streets on a sleigh every Christmas and he was dedicated to local charities and community groups

Son Barry said: “Dad was into his cars and his trucks and it seemed fitting that we took him to the church on the back of one of our trucks.

“We asked the funeral director if it would be possible and there wasn’t a problem. They advised us on what we needed and we made a platform to fit the coffin on the back of the tractor unit so it wouldn’t slide around. It was very emotional to see and it’s what he would have wanted.”

To facilitate the lorry’s journey, the police temporarily stepped in to close Liverpool Road and Queensway.

Barry added: “There were loads of people who turned out for the funeral, around 450.

“Dad was a local legend. He was the Father Christmas who went round the streets on a sleigh every Christmas and he was dedicated to local charities and community groups, but most of all, he loved spending time with his family.

“Every autumn he would borrow a 52 seater coach from a friend and load his ever expanding family on board to drive through Blackpool lights and have fish and chips and we would all go on big family holidays together, whether it was Cornwall, the Algarve or Abersoch, as long as we were together.”

Mr McGuinness was born in Liverpool, but moved to Penwortham with wife Patricia in 1962, because of his job with North Shore Mills.

The family settled in Kingsway and he became the first parent governor of St Teresas Primary School, the first chairman and licensee of St Teresa’s social club, was secretary of the Lancashire Association of Corn and Agricultural Merchants for 50 years, and was the branch chairman of Preston NSPCC for 40 years.

He also served as president of LACCAM, Liverpool Corn Trade, Manchester Corn Trade and Chairman of The Locust Society.

He leaves behind wife Patricia, five children, 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.