Legendary Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore wasn't interested in show business, only music — and that was reflected in the modest absence of celebrity glitz as he was laid to rest yesterday in a small village graveyard outside Brighton.
The family of the rock musician, who died in his sleep at the age of 58 from a heart attack while on holiday in Spain, decided to hold his funeral not in Belfast, where he was born, but near where he had made his home in the past 15 years and where his children live.
Father Martin Morgan, who conducted the service in St Margaret's Church, Rottingdean, East Sussex, described Moore as “the kind of musician who would play anywhere if someone lent him an amp”.
He recounted how the world famous rock guitarist had performed in a local pub to raise funds for victims of the Haiti earthquake.
“They asked lots of people to play but Gary was the only one who turned up. Not only did he perform, his amp broke down, but Gary kept playing and managed to finish his set.
“He was someone who took the talent he was given and used it to touch the soul of others. I believe, for this generosity, Gary is in Heaven,” Fr Morgan told mourners.
The guitarist is survived by four children — Saoirse, Lily, Jack and Gus.
Lily spoke of her father as “a man with rather colourful shirts, who possessed a childlike quality and was an inspiration to many and the kind of person you could never forget”.
The musician's other daughter Saoirse chose a verse for the service called Guitar Poem.
One of the musician's two sons, Jack, himself a guitarist, performed a flawless version of Danny Boy on guitar at which some mourners in the church wept openly.
The service concluded with Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World as Moore's coffin was carried out of the church for burial in the graveyard outside.
Many of the mourners later gathered to celebrate Moore's life at the Dome Room in Brighton.
The family requested that donations in memory of Gary be given to the Teenage Cancer Trust and a special needs charity project.
Thin Lizzy member Scott Gorham later said he was unaware the service for his friend was taking place.
“No one kept me informed of any arrangements regarding his funeral,” he said.
“I'll drive down to Brighton one day on my own and pay my respects,” Gorham added.