‘TEENAGE KICKS’ by Undertones brought JOHN PEEL’s funeral to an emotional close today (November 12).
As the DJ’s coffin was carried out, a tape of a football crowd singing Liverpool FC anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ played across St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, before running into ‘Teenage Kicks’ – famously Peel’s favourite song.
The emotional public service opened with Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum’ was sung by Stow Market Choral Society – of which Peel’s widow Sheila is a member.
The Very Reverend James Atwell, Dean of the Cathedral, said opening prayers before the hymn ‘Lord Of All Hopefulness, Lord Of All Joy’ and am Old Testament reading from Isiah 40 vv1-8 by friend Clive Selwood.
As the service continued, ‘Going Down Slow’ by Howlin’ Wolf was played before a tribute from Peel’s friend Paul Gambaccini.
The broadcaster said: “You broke more artists than any broadcaster in the history of radio. You helped more artists become themselves than any other broadcaster… your loss galvanised a nation. You meant the same thing to successive generations. You gave them what meant the most to them.”
The Stow Market Choral Society then sang ‘Panif Angelicus’ by Cesar Franck before Peel’s brother, Alan Ravenscroft, read a second tribute, telling the congregation: “The response to John’s death has been overwhelming. Thank you all for your love, sympathy and support.”
The congregation then sang ‘Abide With Me’ before friend Chris Lycett read from 1 Corinthians 13, and Reverend Canon Dierdre Parmenter read the address.
After Roy Orbison’s ‘Running Scared’, friend of the family Charlie Bell paid a final tribute before Annie Hatt read Shelley’s ‘Love Philosophy’ and a recording of Rachmaninov’s ‘Piano Concerto No 2’ was played.
After prayers, commendation and blessings, the coffin was carried out.
Hundreds of mourners travelled to the town for the funeral, including Jack and Meg White, Michael and Emily Eavis and colleagues Steve Lamacq, Jo Whiley and Annie Nightingale.
There will now be a private service for immediate family and friends.