Hundreds bid final farewell to hero fireman David Brown
Colleagues form guard of honour for dad (54)
Hundreds of mourners gathered in Co Londonderry yesterday to bid a fond farewell to "hero" firefighter David Brown.
Mr Brown (54) was on a motorbike on the Magherafelt Road in Moneymore on Friday afternoon when he suffered a heart attack.
The father-of-three served in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for 22 years after leaving his previous role as a corporal in the Royal Marines.
His fire service colleagues formed a guard of honour as his remains were carried into Calvary Free Presbyterian Church in Magherafelt yesterday afternoon.
Mr Brown's funeral cortege travelled from his home at Fern Close in the town to the church, led by a fire engine.
Mr Brown is survived by his wife Geraldine, children Laura, Emma and Andrew, six grandchildren, his mother Wendy and siblings Derek and Michelle. He was predeceased by his father Dermot and brother Stephen.
Rev William McCrea, who assisted at the funeral service, said yesterday: "David was a giant of a person, who had a big heart for people. It was a privilege and an honour to have known him since his childhood.
"He was a loving husband, great father, devoted son and a tremendous friend who reached out to the whole community.
"His friends in the fire service regarded him as someone who they could always depend on. They have recalled that if ever something needed to be done, David was always a willing worker.
"David's sudden death has been a huge shock and he will be much missed by so many people.
"In particular his mother, Wendy, has faced a lot of heartache having now lost a second son after her husband died last year, but God has given her tremendous grace," Rev McCrea added.
Mr Brown was laid to rest afterwards in Polepatrick Cemetery, Magherafelt.