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Final farewells to former England boss

PUBLISHED: 07:44 18 February 2006 | UPDATED: 16:20 25 February 2010

THE children of former England manager Ron Greenwood spoke yesterday of a devoted family man as they paid their last respects to him.

In a funeral service in Sudbury, Mr Greenwood's family paid tribute to the 84-year-old who died following a long illness last week.

THE children of former England manager Ron Greenwood spoke yesterday of a devoted family man as they paid their last respects to him.

In a funeral service in Sudbury, Mr Greenwood's family paid tribute to the 84-year-old who died following a long illness last week.

Mr Greenwood and his wife, Lucy, moved to the Suffolk town to be closer to their daughter Carole Johnson.

After giving a reading, Mrs Johnson said: “I will always treasure his special smile, impeccable good manners and his devoted love of his family.”

His son, Neil, said: “Dad's career in football has been well reported and there have been glowing tributes from all corners of the football world.

“Myself and my sister will keep fond memories of a great man and a great dad. My mum has lost her Ronnie who will never be away from her thoughts and prayers.”

In a glittering management career, Mr Greenwood won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup with West Ham before he was appointed manager of the national side.

He guided England to European Championships in 1980 and then to the World Cup two years later.

The congregation at St Gregory's Church - which included former West Ham and Ipswich manager John Lyall - heard how Mr Greenwood lived “contently” in Sudbury before he suffered from Alzheimer's Disease in his later life.

Canon Lawrence Pizzey said: “When he met his wife, his two main themes running through his life were established - family and football.

“He never expected anything to come on a plate. But he worked very hard on his marriage and family and the difficulties of holding a job such as he had through the years,

“He also never expected anyone to work harder then he himself was prepared to. He was a very straightforward, kind and generous man.

“Those who were privileged enough to know his wisdom or earned his friendship knew what a gentleman he was.”

The thanksgiving and celebration of life service saw Mr Greenwood's coffin enter the church with Paul McCartney's Long And Winding Road in the background.

Hymns, The Lord's My Shepherd and Jerusalem, were also played in the moving service.

Meanwhile, a Suffolk-based former professional footballer who played with Mr Greenwood at Chelsea has paid tribute to his team mate.

Phil McKnight, who lives in Great Cornard, spoke of fond memories of their playing days together at Stamford Bridge after the Second World War.

He said: “He was a great man and so easy to get on with.”

Mr Greenwoood leaves a widow, Lucy, two children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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