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Funeral service for tragic miner

Family, friends and well-wishers have paid an emotional final farewell to a man killed in a mining disaster.

Philip Hill, 44, was laid to rest to the strains of Wasteland by '80s supergroup Spandau Ballet in a tearful funeral service.

Up to 400 mourners crowded outside Margam Crematorium in Port Talbot, South Wales, to pay their respects.

Tribute was paid to Mr Hill's "drive" to stay in the area's dwindling mining industry despite two decades of contraction.

Mr Hill was one of four men who died when water engulfed the Gleision Colliery in Cilybebyll, Pontardawe, on September 15. Garry Jenkins, 39, David Powell, 50, and Charles Breslin, 62, also died in the underground flood.

Reverend Peter Lewis presided over the brief service, which was relayed on speakers outside to up to 200 mourners unable to cram into the small chapel.

He spoke of the grief caused in the community by the deaths and also the need people had to talk about it.

"People have been stirred by events and they have wanted to communicate their love and affection," he said. "Many people have contacted me to say how much they have appreciated Philip in his life."

The service promised to be particularly difficult for Mr Hill's family after the death of his mother and son in the past year.

A few brief words written by the family were printed on the order of service at the funeral. It read: "Much loved father of Leigh, Kyla and the late Simon. Dearly loved son of Peter and the late Merle. Dearest brother of Julie. Philip will be sadly missed by his loving family and friends."

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