Search

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

07:00 05 February 2014

The hearse containing Duncan James

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 News Stories

14:00
PICTURE BY ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM - Diving - British Gas Diving Championships 2013 - Plymouth Life Centre, Plymouth, England - 10/02/13 - Georgia Ward competes in the Womens 3m preliminaries.

The biggest names in international diving will be out in force at the London Aquatics Centre next weekend for the British leg of the FINA NVC Diving World Series.

Elizabeth Olympic Park
10:00
Potentially lethal skin whitening products seized by Newham Trading Standards

Banned skin whitening products have been seized by Newham Trading Standards.

Ian Corbett
Yesterday, 18:58
Theatre Royal Stratford East

Theatre Royal Stratford East has announced details of a major auditorium refurbishment which is set to take place from this month.

Arts Council England
Yesterday, 17:00
Mohammed Diria has been jailed for robbing a betting shop in Stratford

A man who robbed a betting shop in Stratford after asking for a glass of water has been jailed.

Most read news

Competitions

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Read more
Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder