Hundreds of people poured into Peterborough Cathedral to pay tribute to Chris Turner, a “giant of a man” who put the city on the map.
Fans, former players and well-known faces in the world of football came from far and wide to give the legendary former Posh player, manager and owner a fitting send off.
Mr Turner had passed away on April 27, aged 64, after a battle with dementia going back eight years.
The service began at 11am with members of the Wembley-winning 1992 team following in the coffin as it was brought into the cathedral.
Eulogies were delivered by former Posh player Bobby Barnes and Micky Vincent, the best man at Mr Turner’s wedding to wife Lynne 33 years ago.
Mr Barnes considered it be an absolute privilege that Lynne had asked him to speak at the service.
In a eulogy which combined touching remarks with a touch of humour, he said: “The term legend is used cheaply these days, but Chris is indeed a legend and will be sadly missed.
“They say a team is a reflection of leadership and never was that more the case than with Chris.
Players like honesty but sometimes he could be too honest. Before one cup match he told told us ‘you have to win this game so I can get some more cash to get better players.’
“The club enjoyed unprecedented success under his leadership. The greatest day was Wembley 1992. We went back to the hotel in the evening and Chris had gone missing.
He was a giant of a player and a giant of a man.Micky Vincent
“Apparently he had gone into town to celebrate with the supporters.
“He put Peterborough on the map. He will be sadly missed.”
Mr Vincent said: “He was a giant of a player and a giant of a man. He was fiercely loyal to his friends and possessed a magnetic personality.
“He was a special man who touched the hearts of so many people.
“He will always be remembered as the people’s champion - a true legend and one of the city’s great heroes. He will always be in our hearts.
“I believe that those we truly love never leave us but just go on ahead.
“There’s only one Chrissy Turner. Rest in peace my dear friend.”
The service was led by Canon Bruce Ruddock who began the service by saying: “The sheer numbers of you who have turned out this morning is a powerful statement of what sort of man Chris was.
“Chris was first and foremost a loving and devoted husband and a very great friend. He has left a huge gap behind in the lives of many people.”
Introducing the first of two hymns, ‘Morning Has Broken’ by Eleanor Farjeon, Canon Ruddock said: “I think Chris would have had a laugh that the priest knows nothing about football, but what I think I do know is that fans can sing, not least because I can hear you beside my house every time there’s a home game.”
Following the second hymn which was ‘Abide With Me’ by Henry Francis Lyte, Canon Ruddock added: “It is a huge privilege for the cathedral to hold the service for such a great man.
“I think you’ve converted me. I will probably join you in a stand at the beginning of next season.”
Mr Turner’s coffin was carried in to the sounds of ‘Nobody Does It Better’ by Carly Simon and came out at the end of the service to the tune of Louis Armstrong’s ‘It’s A Wonderful World.’
Fans were said to have turned up at the Cathedral from 8am, and a group over over 50 Posh supporters made their way from London Road at 10am to show their support for a man who took the club to the second-tier of English football.
A contingent from Cambridge United, including former player Dion Dublin, also came to pay tribute to Mr Turner who had managed their club.
Mr Turner played 364 times for Posh between 1969 and 1978, mostly as a centre-back. He scored 43 goals.
He returned to manage Posh in January 1991 and promptly led the team to back-to-back promotions and a place in the second tier of English football for the first time in the club’s history.
He quit as manager in December 1992 and became chairman after leading a buy-out of his beloved club.