Crowds line the streets of Preston to bid farewell to local hero Gadget

The Funeral Cortege of John White drives through Preston Market
The Funeral Cortege of John White drives through Preston Market
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Crowds of mourners have gathered to say farewell to local hero and “great man” John White.

The veteran, who died last month, worked as a security guard at Preston Market and helped hundreds of people across the city.

Crowds lined the streets of Preston on Wednesday to say goodbye to their friend, before final respects were paid to the man known as “Gadget”.

Buglers played the Last Post and veterans lowered their flags as John’s coffin, draped in a Union Flag, was carried into Preston Crematorium.

There was standing room only for the service, led by Vicar of Preston Father Timothy Lipscomb.

He said: “We have come to say goodbye to a great man.

“A man much respected by the people of Preston and the surrounding area, a man who was there for all of us.

“Those of you who know the market know it was a safer place because of John, because he really, really cared.”

John, who was 61, was in the Royal Green Jackets and then the Ulster Defence Regiment as part of his 17 years of continuous service, before becoming a security guard.

Fr Timothy said: “I think it’s such a tribute to him that practically the whole of Lancashire Constabulary are here today in some form or another and he would have loved that.

“Looking around, so many of you represent the whole of life in Preston and that’s such a tribute.

“There aren’t enough great characters in our lives and he was one of them, and for that reason alone he will be sadly missed, but for so many other reasons too.

“It is clear that people have been very kind and generous in John’s memory, and I know between you, you have done a fantastic collection for this 

“And I gather, also, funds have been raised by comedians at the Guild Hall and, in Gadget’s memory, a plaque is to be instated in the market with his name on it.”