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Arnie hails 'my pal and mentor'

PUBLISHED: 09:37 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:57 09 July 2010

THE Imperial Parade Band played ahead of the horse-drawn hearse carrying his body – marking a celebration of Charles Bennett as much as mourning his death. The band led the funeral procession from his Romford Road, Forest Gate, gym on Thursday afternoon

THE Imperial Parade Band played ahead of the horse-drawn hearse carrying his body - marking a celebration of Charles Bennett as much as mourning his death.

The band led the funeral procession from his Romford Road, Forest Gate, gym on Thursday afternoon to the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Manor Park.

Family, friends and associates paid their final respects to the man popularly known as 'Wag', and an institution in the world of bodybuilding.

As around 200 people gathered in the North Chapel before Wag's cremation, glowing tributes were paid to him as a man, and for his expertise, professionalism and dedication in his field.

Widow Dianne described his life as being committed to his family and bodybuilding. The couple had six children, and all five surviving sons and daughters spoke affectionately about their father.

One of the many floral tributes read: "With heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy, the Schwarzenegger family."

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder turned film actor and now Governor of California, worked under Wag's guidance before achieving superstardom.

Arnold sent floral tributes and a message which read: "It is important that before we lay Wag to rest, I register my thoughts about a man who was a friend and mentor to me since I was a teenager."

More of what Arnie said in Larry Ferguson's story in this week's Recorder


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