Family 'touched' as hundreds attend funeral of farmer Philip Capper killed in tractor accident
The family of a young farmer who was laid to rest in Banbridge yesterday have been deeply moved by the outpouring of sympathy.
Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay respects to Philip Capper, who died after a tractor he was travelling in left the road last Friday night.
He was described by family and friends as a dedicated farmer, talented drummer and machinery enthusiast.
The service was led by Banbridge Baptist pastor John Taylor, who was accompanied by Dennis Lyle, former pastor of Lurgan Baptist church.
Mr Capper's uncle Andrew told the Belfast Telegraph that his family was "very touched" by the support at the funeral.
He said: "There was a massive turnout, somewhere in the region of eight to nine hundred.
"There were about 700 people in the church alone.
"The main church hall holds 500 people itself, then the overflow was completely filled and there were more outside.
"The whole family is very much touched by the many respects of people who travelled far and wide."
The 29-year-old was a passenger in a John Deere tractor that crashed on Back Road in Drumbo shortly after 9.15pm on Friday.
The driver, a 22-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of careless driving causing death.
He was released on bail pending further enquiries.
Andrew Capper said the family were extremely grateful to all those who tried to help after the accident.
He said: "The family would like to thank staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital, the police and any individual who texted, called or helped in any practical way." Mr Capper, originally from the Annaghmore area, was a member of Battlehill Pipe Band for 15 years. As his coffin was carried out of the church, a band member played while Mr Capper's casket passed his bass drum, which had been brought to the hall.
DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley, who had known Mr Capper since he was six and had once worked on the family's farm, said: "Philip was piped out of the church by a member of the band, who played the Piper's Lament.
"It was an emotional but fitting tribute.
"Tribute was also paid by his sister Joanne and brother David, who reflected on Philip's life, ranging from his love of farming to the pipe band.
"It was a touching piece and a loyal tribute to a great character."
Before the public service was held at Banbridge Baptist church, a private service was held at Mr Capper's home.
Known for his love of machinery, Philip's car, lorry and tractor had been parked on the hill beside his house so that he could pass them one last time.
Mr Capper, who was described as an "adored son" by his parents, was buried in Kernan Cemetery in Portadown after the funeral.