Big Sam, Rooney, and Shearer among mourners at Freddy Shepherd's funeral

Pic: Scott Heppell/PA Wire
Pic: Scott Heppell/PA Wire

Former PNE player and caretaker manager Sam Allardyce was among football's great and good at the funeral of former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd.

More than 500 people were at the service for the businessman, described as Mr Charisma by one of his three sons.

Pic: Scott Heppell/PA Wire

Pic: Scott Heppell/PA Wire

Mr Shepherd, a devoted family man who helped revive Newcastle United's fortunes in the 1990s, died suddenly aged 75.

Former Newcastle striker Shearer gave a eulogy, thanking Mr Shepherd for bringing him back to his home town team, allowing him to break the club's scoring record.

Also present was ex-United manager Dalglish. Big Sam, who made 90 appearances for PNE in the 80s and was at the helm in 1992, managed the Magpies from 2007-08.

Fans' favourites including Peter Beardsley, Les Ferdinand, Shay Given, Tim Krul and Steve Harper were at the service.

TV entertainer Dec Donnelly and his wife Ali were also at St George's Parish Church in Newcastle's leafy suburb of Jesmond.

Rooney came to pay his respects as his agent Paul Stretford was in business with Mr Shepherd. The footballer attended with Alex Bruce, son of Steve Bruce - who also attended.

Rooney's wife Colleen was not at the funeral.

During Shepherd's time at Newcastle, the club twice finished as Premier League runners-up, reached two FA Cup finals and enjoyed two Champions League campaigns.

He also oversaw the redevelopment of an ageing stadium, boosting its capacity from around 36,000 to more than 52,000.