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Leathers and biker jackets at Lee's funeral
LEATHERS and biker jackets were the order of the day as hundreds of people turned out to bid an emotional well to Ledbury motorcycle enthusiast Lee Vine.
St Michaels and All Angels Church was packed from wall to wall this morning as family, friends and customers from Mr Vine’s business Lee Motorcyles turned out to pay their respects to the 50-year-old, who died after being hit by a fireball from a garden bonfire.
Seats and order of service sheets ran out more than half an hour before the service began at 11.30am and Rev Paul Dunthorne, who led the service, said he could not remember ever seeing so many people inside the church for a funeral.
As a floral tribute in the shape of a motorcycle was carried into the church, the roar of engines from the 40 or so motorbikes that formed a guard of honour for Mr Vine’s funeral procession could be heard outside.
Mr Vine’s coffin was brought into the church to the sounds of November Rain, by Guns N’ Roses, while another of his favourite songs, Milk and Alcohol, by Dr Feelgood, was also played.
His partner Lyn Wall chose the song Till You Love Me, by Reba McEntire, while two poems were read in his honour, the first, You Never Said, chosen by his children Luke and Leanne and the second, Come With Me, dedicated by his entire family.
Rev Dunthorne paid tribute to Mr Vine on his family’s behalf.
He described the 50-year-old as a “fantastic person loved by everyone” and spoke of how he always enjoyed being “the life and soul of the party”.
He said some of the things the family would remember most about him were his wicked sense of humour, cheeky grin and his “habit of rubbing his hands together in anticipation” whenever he sold a motorbike.
At the end of the service the whole congregation joined together in a spontaneous round of applause as Mr Vine was carried out to the sounds of the rock anthem Bat out of Hell.
A committal at Hereford Crematorium followed the church service and a gathering in Mr Vine’s honour is being held this afternoon at Ledbury Rugby Club.
Mr Vine’s family thanked everyone who attended the funeral and who had offered their support and messages of sympathy since his death on January 11.
Donations in memory of Mr Vine are being split between Midland Air Ambulance and the critical care unit at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.