Mourners in tangerine turned out for the funeral of a popular postman and avid Blackpool FC fan.
People gathered in St Annes yesterday for the Seasiders-themed funeral to pay their respects to John Chandler, 56, who died after suffering from a heart infection.
Today his partner of 16 years, Suzanne Giblin, described how he looked into her eyes one last time before dying in her arms.
Ms Giblin, 44, said: “Everybody loved him and he was a very popular man.
“He had been in hospital briefly in April, but they sent him home after nine days.
“Then he gradually got worse and we took him back in. I was holding him at the end. He wasn’t able to speak but he did open his eyes and he was looking at me.”
Mr Chandler had worked as a postman for 33 years before his death on July 14 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
A huge Blackpool FC fan, his funeral was Tangerine-themed and featured a procession along the route of his former post round in St Annes, which he had worked for 33 years.
Ms Giblin, of Whitby Road in the town, added: “He made a lot of friends with all the shopkeepers because he would try and spend some time and have a bit of a chat with them instead of just throwing their mail and running out.
“Fun is the best way to describe him, he was always the life and soul of the party.”
Mr Chandler was born in Bispham but moved to St Annes as a child.
He attended Mayfield Primary School in the town, before moving on to Lytham St Annes High School.
He then worked as bar manager at the Glendower Hotel in the town and briefly as a labourer in Germany before he became a postman.
Besides Ms Giblin he is survived by mother Dorothy, sister Anne, 53, and brother David, 45.
His father George died earlier this year aged 85.