To us a lo­cal hero and cre­ator of a su­perb ground – but to his fam­ily a soft grandpa with a kind smile

Sunday Sun - - News - By Hannah Gra­ham hannah.gra­ham@ncj­me­

Alan Shearer at­tends the fu­neral of Freddy Shep­herd at St Ge­orge’s Church in Jes­mond Re­porter FAM­ILY, friends, and foot­balling leg­ends have said good­bye to “lo­cal hero” and de­voted fam­ily man Freddy Shep­herd.

The New­cas­tle busi­ness­man and for­mer NUFC owner was laid to rest yes­ter­day, with a memo­rial at St Ge­orge’s Church in Jes­mond.

The 75-year-old died sud­denly on Septem­ber 25, leav­ing be­hind his wife Lorelle, three sons Charles, Ken­neth and Warwick, and brother Bruce, along with three grand­chil­dren.

Fa­mous faces in­clud­ing Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Declan Don­nelly came to pay their re­spects - yet the ser­vice Sir John Hall fo­cused not on Mr Shep­herd’s pub­lic achieve­ments, but his im­mense love for his fam­ily.

Pay­ing trib­ute to his fa­ther, son Warwick said: “Dad’s most im­por­tant legacy was al­ways his fam­ily, and it is our duty to con­tinue the work he started, in his hon­our.

“The pub­lic Freddy is a very dif­fer­ent per­son to Freddy the hus­band, the fa­ther, the un­cle and the grandpa. His fam­ily un­doubt­edly gave him his great­est source of pride. “This soft grandpa with the warm­est of hearts and the kind­est of smiles asked noth­ing of us, but gave us ev­ery­thing.”

Stand­ing be­fore the crowd of hun­dreds, for­mer NUFC striker ad­dressed him­self di­rectly to the Shep­herd fam­ily.

He said: “I can’t be­gin to imag­ine the loss you feel right now, but I do know it only hurts so much be­cause of the laugh­ter and mem­o­ries you all cre­ated to­gether.

“Of all his many great achieve­ment, by far the best of them are sit­ting here to­day.”

And he said he would be “for­ever grate­ful” to the for­mer chair­man for “bring­ing me home” to the club he had sup­ported as a boy, and said that the statue of him­self which Mr Shep­herd was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing to St James’ Park would stand “as a per­ma­nent re­minder of him, of the pride he had in New­cas­tle”.

“Com­ing back to my club, break­ing the goal scor­ing record, liv­ing my dream - I can thank Freddy for all of that,” he added.

“We will miss you, Mr Chair­man - we will miss you Freddy.”

Sir John Hall, Mr Shep­herd’s for­mer busi­ness part­ner, opened his trib­ute with the Lo­cal Hero theme, played be­fore NUFC home games, say­ing it was a fit­ting tune for Mr Shep­herd.

In a warm and mov­ing speech, which of­ten drew laughs from the crowd, he re­counted the mo­ment the pair took con­trol of the club, and their pride when the team saw suc­cess.

He said: “He was my lo­cal hero, our lo­cal hero, some­one who had done so much for the re­gion, and with me for the foot­ball club.”

He added “We came to re­alise that we never owned the foot­ball club - it was the fans’ club, we

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