MORE than two hundred people turned out for the funeral of a veteran with no family.
Wearing Pompey scarves and poppies, friends of Ted Burridge gathered at St John’s Church in Fareham to celebrate his life after raising money for the send off.
Friend Mike Homer said: ‘I am over the moon with today and how many people came.
‘I am simply blown away.’
Mike and friends at The Duke Of Connaught’s Own Club in Western Road aimed to raise £3,000 to cover funeral costs and were astounded by the community’s response.
Chairman of the club, Lee Downer said: ‘The response from locals has been amazing and there is much generosity even today people have been giving donations.’
Victoria Hollins was another of Ted’s closest friends.
The 90-year-old said: ‘I loved Ted and will miss him very much.’
Ted, 82, was famous for never missing a Pompey game and travelled to every ground in the country to see the Blues play.
Many fans attended the service including Pompey legend Alan Knight.
Ian Bagshaw knew Ted for over 30 years through cricket as Ted was an umpire for teams including Gosport Borough Cricket Club.
Ian said: ‘He was Pompey mad and when I would pick him up for cricket his staircase would be piled high in football programmes.
‘But I think what is great to see today is so many people from different walks of life that Ted was involved with.
‘He will be missed greatly by the community.’
Ted, whose full name was Edward Albert Burridge, served in the RAF at the Suez Canal in Egpyt.
Representatives from the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association held flags at the procession.
Mr Homer said: ‘He didn’t talk much about his time in the RAF but he was immensely proud.
‘He is in heaven now and he is doing one of two things, showing the angels how to stand to attention or telling them how to fly in formation.’
Nicknamed Oddjob by friends, Ted spent many years selling poppies in Fareham Shopping Centre.
Mike said: ‘That was Ted’s special place and he raised over £100,000 for the Royal British Legion during the poppy appeal over all the years he did it.’
The extra funds raised from the appeal will go towards a plaque at Fratton Park and there are hopes for a memorial bench in the town centre.
Mike added: ‘Ted was a truly lovely man.’