HUNDREDS of mourners came to pay their respects to the ‘King of the Gypsies’ at a lavish funeral in Martock, Somerset featuring floral tributes of a tractor, a horse and a bottle of gin.
The village came to a standstill yesterday as the colourful procession for Ivor Hughes passed through with a tractor and several limos and played Shaggy’s Mr Boombastic at the church.
Mr Hughes, a 46-year-old horse trader and farmer, died in his sleep at home in Ilchester, Somerset last month from heart failure.
The funeral cortage was joined by twelve limousines and three lorries packed with flowers all following the coffin and silver hearse as an estimated 300 mourners descended to pay respects to him.
According to Mail Online, shops were closed in the village and one mourner said they had “never seen anything like it”.
As they walked through the village to All Saints church, mourners reportedly sang Halleluiah and You Are My Sunshine.
At the church, it’s reported mourners walked in to Mr Bombastic by Shaggy and No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley was also played.
Known as the King of the Gypsies, Mr Hughes was remembered as a “gentle giant” and was the head of a large gypsy family.
Ahead of the funeral, his siblings told Somerset Live: “He was ‘Our Ivor’ to us, the King of our family, always strong, a leader. He was animal-mad and always had the best horses.
“He was our own Del Boy, a jack of all trades with a great sense of humour and would help anybody.”
During the service, mourners heard how Mr Hughes “loved his family. His mum was his best friend and he always said that if his mum was small enough he would have kept her in his pocket. He phoned his father four-five times a day.”
His family also paid tribute to his skill with animals and his wheeler-dealing, saying he loved haggling over horses as well as hare coursing and pheasant shooting.
Mr Hughes was well-known for his love of horses, owning 40 or 50 cobs as well as dogs, sheep and chickens.
His family, including his parents and 12 siblings were said to be shocked by his death.
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According to Mail Online, one mourner said: “They’re an incredibly close family, the boys are so devastated, they all are.”
Another member of the procession, who said he had known Ivor for 30 years, said: ‘We were having a bacon sandwich together three days before he died – I knew he wasn’t well but didn’t know it was that bad.”
He continued: “We’ve all got a lot of fond memories of Ivor. He was a good man. He never hurt people and he’d help anyone.”
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