St Helens says goodbye and remembers Denis Whittle

Denis Whittle passed away aged 85 earlier this month.
Denis Whittle passed away aged 85 earlier this month.
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Lowe House RC Church in St Helens was packed to the rafters on Monday for a Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the life of Denis Whittle who passed away aged 85 earlier this month.

Described in an Eulogy as a man about town who knew everybody, as well as being a kind and generous person, Denis would have been proud of his send-off had he been alive to see it.

A life-long Saints' fan, he also covered the club's activities as a journalist for the St Helens Star between 1989 and 2001 after leaving the St Helens Reporter where he was employed for many years as a lino-type operator.

Denis only married late in life but it was a perfect love match - his late wife Margaret, being just as fanatical a St Helens fan as he was.

Saints' chairman Eammon McManus, who Denis persuaded to join the club board, was present to pay his last respects along with former players, including Ray French and Peter Harvey, and club historian Alex Service.

It was, therefore fitting, that the recessional hymn was 'Oh,when the Saints go marching in' and then as the coffin carried by four pall-bearers, including former St Helens captain Chris Joynt and ex-scrum half Neil Holding, left the church a peal of bells rang out to the club's famous signature tune.

Earlier, members of the Royal British Legion had marched ahead of the hearse to the church.