Search

Pictures: Hundreds attend funeral for ‘loved’ West Ham fan in Forest Gate

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 February 2014

The hearse containing Duncan James' coffin and tributes.
Photo credit: David Mirzoeff

The hearse containing Duncan James' coffin and tributes. Photo credit: David Mirzoeff

Archant

Hundreds of mourners bid farewell to a West Ham fan and “salt of the earth” who has died of lung cancer.

Duncan James died of lung cancer, aged 40 Duncan James died of lung cancer, aged 40

Duncan James, 40, a Silvertown locksmith called “the original Black cockney” by his friends, was mourned by 850 people at his funeral in St Anthony’s Church, Forest Gate, last week.

Forty balloons in West Ham claret and blue were released with doves at City Crematorium, Manor Park.

Tributes poured in for the charismatic Duncan, who went to Carpenters Road Primary School, Stratford, with a Facebook page set up by friends receiving messages from 600 members.

Mona James, Duncan’s mother, said she was “overwhelmed beyond belief” at the response to her son’s death.

Mourners arrive at City of London Cemetry and Crematorium.
Photo credit: David Mirzoeff Mourners arrive at City of London Cemetry and Crematorium. Photo credit: David Mirzoeff

“I have never seen so many men hugging, crying and kissing,” she said. “They all loved him so much.”

“Everyone felt Duncan was their best mate. That was his ability. He always made every person feel like a personal friend.”

Duncan was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at Whipps Cross Hospital last May. Although he was a smoker, the doctors said the cancer was not smoking-related.

Duncan was able to spend his last Christmas at home with his family, where he was sent a signed football from West Ham Football Club, before returning to St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney.

Donna Easton, a childhood sweetheart and friend of 20 years, said: “We were all there up until the end. He told us how much he loved us. They were more or less the last things he said.”

She added: “Throughout the whole time he acted with such dignity.

“He never complained once.

“He was able to pass away knowing peace because he knew he was really loved.”

The family made the most of the huge funeral turnout by raising £3,000 for cancer charities.

Ms James said: “I’m very proud.

“The tributes made it a lot more bearable, because it’s so much love for one person.

“He touched the lives of so many people.”

For more pictures click on the gallery on the right.

0 comments

Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 16:01

Pupils, teachers and parents gathered in the playground of Brampton Primary School to pay tribute to victims of the Manchester bombing.

Manchester
Yesterday, 14:22

Forest Gate Community School is set to expand to cater for an additional 300 pupils.

Forest Gate Community School
Yesterday, 12:17

Sir Robin Wales has urged the Newham community to “stay calm and be vigilant” as it “stands united with the people of Manchester” following Monday’s terror attack.

Robin
Yesterday, 10:39

The Barking to Gospel Oak Overground line will be closed for eight weekends as electrification work continues.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now