"A funeral fit for a king" - family of former landlord thank Northampton for their support
Hundreds of friends, customers and members of family turned out today (March 10) to see a Northampton landlordÂ pass by his pub for the last time.
Peter Russell died on at his home on February 9, aged 74.
He was the landlord of the Crown & Cushion, in Wellingborough Road, for 26 years with his wife, Marlene.
St Michael's Church, in The Drive, Kingsley, was filled yesterday (March 10) by friends from across the country who turned out to attend Pete's funeral.
Martyn Panter, who briefly rented a room from Pete during his time as landlord, said: "You don't see churches filled like that anymore. His son, Stuart, gave such an amazing speech.
"He had so many friends. His funeral today was no less than he deserved. It was incredible."
After the service, Pete's procession was led down Wellingborough Road and past his former pub, where hundreds lined the street to wave him farewell for the last time.
A private family cremation was held at the Counties Crematorium, in Milton Malsor.
The family said in a statement: "Peter's family have been overwhelmed by the support from friends, family and everyone attended today.
"It's a credit to Northampton that, even on a working day, so many would turn out to give him a funeral fit for a king.
"The donations received so far for the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance have been incredible. The weight of all of the envelopes and donations is monstrous.
"His wife, Marlene, and his children, Stuart and Charlotte, would like to thank everybody who attended today and people who travelled from across the country to be here.
"They also want to thank Father Nicholas and the minister Tony Avery for today's service, and also all of Northampton, who came to a stop today just for Pete."
Mourners met at the Monk Parks WMC, in Wellingborough Road, after the proceedings to share their memories
Tim Chamberlain, a regular at Pete's pub when he owned it, said: "Pete was such a great man. I used to drink at his pub and I even met my fiance at one of his karaoke nights. He would do anything for you. It was something else, having a landlord who was like a best mate."
Pete took over the Crown & Cushion in 1985. At times, he and his wife pulled 1,000 pints a day.
Florence Farrell, one of Pete's customers, said: "You couldn't better him. A true gentleman like you don't get anymore. He would give you such a warm welcome when you came in.
"If he ever had any trouble makers come to his pub, he wouldn't lose his temper with them. He would sit them down and talk to them. When they left, they'd be a different person. It was just so special to know him."
Frank Sinatra's "My Way" played as Pete's coffin was led out of St Michael's Church.
Since his passing, Pete's family has received more than 500 cards from generations of people served at at his pub.