Search

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

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 40Duncan 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 MirzoeffMourners 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

13:52

A crash between three cars is causing heavy delays westbound on the A13 in Canning Town.

Canning Town
12:00

They might look scary at first glance, but this noisy cohort of bikers comes bearing goodwill and a large donation of toys.

Community Links
09:00

A hard working teenager has been named St John Ambulance’s East London Cadet of the Year for 2017.

London
07:00

Plans to turn a service station into hundreds of new homes have been refused after they fell short on the provision of affordable housing.

Sadiq Khan

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Read more

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

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