Stoke City fan Barry Taylor will be taken on his final journey in the same carriage which was used for the funerals of two of his grandchilden.
The service is due to be conducted at Bradwell Crematorium later today after the 83-year-old lost his fight against coronavirus and pneumonia earlier this month.
He died just a year short of celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary.
Now widow Shirley Taylor is being comforted every day by the sound of her husband’s ‘beautiful voice’ – after he recorded a CD of their favourite songs as a birthday gift. The songs include Here In My Heart and When Your Old Wedding Ring War Was New.
Shirley, aged 71, of Wedgwood Farm, Fegg Hayes, said: “He had a beautiful voice.
“I’m pleased that I paid for him to go into a studio and make a CD of him singing. I put it on every afternoon. Here In My Heart was a special song for us.
“Barry was a proper gentleman. He would always open the door for you. He was old school. We would have been married 50 years next year.”
The great-grandfather – who would have celebrated his 84th birthday this week – was first admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital about three weeks before his death with a urine infection. He tested positive for Covid-19 after developing a high temperature before being discharged home.
But he was later readmitted to hospital, put on a coronavirus ward, and found to have pneumonia. He died on Saturday, May 10.
It is another tragedy to hit son Matthew Taylor after the loss of two of his children, 16-month-old Bronwyn and 19-year-old Boden.
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Matthew, of Basford, said: “On the Saturday morning my mum called to say my dad had passed away. He was aged 83, but it was still a big shock.
“My dad was a real character. He was a gas fitter and then he worked for the GEC.
“He used to do a lot of singing, in the days when people did open mic. He knew a lot of people from that.
“He used to go singing at Jollees and he’d go to places like the Hempstalls, at Newcastle; the Bird In Hand, at Trent Vale; The Railway, at Longport; and the Dimsdale.
“He was a lovely guy, daft as a brush, and he cared about everyone. He was a great man, always there for you.
“A few years ago, me and a few mates went to Germany for the World Cup and then France for the Rugby World Cup. It was four lads in their 20s and my dad, but it was great. He could tell a good story or two.
“He loved his football. He was a big Stoke City fan and he went to the cup final in 1972. He used to follow them religiously.
“We used to have a game of darts and snooker. We were as close as could be.”
Barry and Shirley had one son, Matthew. Barry was also stepfather to Shirley’s children, Andrew, aged 55, Darren, aged 52, and Amanda, aged 50.
Barry also had four children from his first marriage, Martin, Colin, Janet and Tracey.
Stepson Darren, of Newcastle, said: “He was a cracking dad. He’s been there since I was four. He’s my stepdad, but I call him my dad.”