Sporting greats turned out in force to pay their final respects to a football legend.
Tony Hateley – a former Liverpool, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Notts County striker, who helped raise millions for charity – passed away in Preston after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Hundreds of mourners including former Liverpool team mates Ian St John, Brian Hall and Ian Callaghan packed into St Mary’s Parish Church in Penwortham for a celebration of Hateley’s life and career.
The footballing world paid their respects to the striker who netted 211 goals in a 16 year career at the weekend.
Anfield launched into a round of applause before Liverpool’s 5-1 victory over Arsenal to commemorate the striker who scored 27 goals in his only season – 1967/68 – for the Reds.
And Notts County – the team he started his career with – paid tribute to Hateley before their 3-0 victory over another of his former clubs Coventry.
Chelsea boss Tommy Docherty paid a club record fee £100,000 in 1966 to sign the striker from Aston Villa.
But Hateley associated himself with the Reds and as the coffin was carried out by his son Mark – who earned 32 caps for England and grandson Tom, who plays professional football in Poland – the whole church sang the Liverpool anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Ranagers manager Ally McCoist, England World Cup winner Roger Hunt and former Everton manager Howard Kendall were also in attendance at the ceremony.
His granddaughter Morgan paid an emotional tribute to her grandfather at his funeral service.
The youngster told of how proud Tony senior was of his footballing dynasty.
Tony leaves behind his wife Yvonne who he lived with in Howick Park close, Penwortham, son Mark, daughter Tina, grandchildren and great grandchildren who all attended his funeral.
Tony spent a lot of his time at Parkfield Labour Club in Ashton but also played a big role in the celebrity golf circuit.
Alan Clarke read the second eulogy at the funeral and he paid tribute to Hateley, who had been involved in the set up since 1979.
He said: “He was a great man, a giant of a man, a strong man with an even stronger handshake.
“Tony helped us raise six million of pounds for charity.
“He wouldn’t even tell people what the prize was for a raffle he made everyone buy a ticket because he thought it was their duty.”
Vicar of St Mary’s and the chaplain of Preston North End Reverend Chris Nelson wore a stole with a PNE badges on as a mark of respect to the football great.
He said during the service: “Tony has been a great part of the community of Preston, a great family man and he will be missed by many.”
The vicar also urged people to give a donation in memory of Tony to the family’s chosen charity – the Alzheimer’s Society.
Yvonne and the family thanked everyone for attending the service, for their kind expressions of sympathy and invited them on to Penwortham Golf Club to share their happy memories.