HUNDREDS turned out to his funeral organised by friends after he died leaving no family, and now a respected veteran and Pompey fan will be honoured with two memorial benches.
Friends of Ted Burridge from Fareham, a well-known poppy seller and loved member of the community, have organised for two benches in the borough to memorialise the-82-year-old.
Mike Homer knew Ted for over 12 years and along with members of The Duke Of Connaught’s Own Club in Western Road sought to give Ted a proper send-off when he died in May by crowdfunding for a funeral.
Hundreds of people came along to the service held at St John’s Church in Upper St Michael’s Grove.
Mike said: ‘I am over the moon and how many people came.
‘I am simply blown away.’
Ted 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.’
Ted, whose full name was Edward Albert Burridge, served in the RAF at the Suez Canal in Egpyt and representatives from the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association held flags at the procession.
Mike 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 outside of Bon Marche.
Mike added: ‘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.’
To mark the first Poppy Appeal without Ted, two benches will celebrate his life.
Mike said: ‘It is my pleasure to announce the opening of the Poppy Appeal 2018 on Thursday, October 25 at 10.15am. Outside the library the Mayor will first uncover a plaque on a bench to celebrate the life of Edward Albert Burridge “Ted”.
‘After uncovering the bench the Mayor and guests will go to the Falklands Arch to see a wreath placed on the Arch in commemoration of those who lost their lives.
‘We will then move to Tesco Fareham for the uncovering of the Memorial Bench made from scratch by Knight Carpentry and Construction and as Ted was a veteran of the RAF, the treasurer of the Royal Air Forces Association will be saying a few words.’
Everyone is welcome to the Poppy Appeal opening and the ceremonies for Ted’s benches.