Hundreds of mourners packed in to St Mary’s Church in Calne to celebrate the life of former Calne Town football chairman Brian Hillier yesterday.

Mr Hillier, of Wood Street, Calne, died aged 65 at Great Western Hospital in Swindon on October 23 after suffering from a stroke.

More than three hundred people came to celebrate the football fanatic’s life as he was brought into the church to classic love song, I will Always Love You.

Reverend Bob Kenway who led the service paid tribute to Mr Hillier’s life and his love for football and dedication to his family.

He led the congregation with prayers and hymns before family and friends recalled the man they knew so well.

Lifelong friend Rod Pottow paid a heart felt tribute to the businessman’s life and recalled fond memories that they had shared.

He said: “ The number of people here today at the funeral is a testament to how popular Brian was. He was a very kind man who I have known for many years and have many fond memories of our times together.”

Mr Hillier’s son, Simon recalled how proud him and his sister felt to have such a successful father who had several businesses over the years before settling into his job as Calne Town football club chairman.

In 1984 he went on to become chairman of Swindon Town Football Club, a team he had been a fan of since he was a child. He later retired from that role and with Simon’s persuasion he went back to Calne Town Football Club as chairman.

He said: “ My father was a great man, me and Sara are so proud of him. There are two types of people in this world, those who lead and those who follow. My dad was a leader.”

Simon went on to say that he will be forever grateful to his father for the best childhood memories he has from when Mr Hillier was chairman at Swindon and Calne football clubs.

He finished his tribute asking people to remember his father because there will never be another Brian Hillier.

Grandchildren Alice, Sophie and Jack paid a tearful tribute to their grandfather remembering the good times they shared together.

The service ended with prayers before Mr Hillier’s coffin was carried out to I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans.

Friends were invited to join Mr Hillier’s family at the Lansdowne Hotel in Calne after the service.