FRIENDS and family packed into a chapel for the funeral of a man who gave thousands of children across Portsmouth the gift of play.
It was standing room only at Portchester Crematorium, with people overflowing from the chapel as hundreds came to pay their respects to Ken Abbott.
They squeezed into the chapel to the sound of A Day in the Life by The Beatles, one of his favourite groups.
Mr Abbott died suddenly aged 58 of pneumonia at his home in Folkestone Road, Copnor, on November 18.
He had been the driving force behind the Portsea Venture Playground (PVP) and had been a key figure in adventure playgrounds around the city.
Life celebrant Lee Kewell led the service. He said: ‘We can clearly see how many people Ken touched on his journey through life.’
He described Mr Abbott as a patriotic and principled man, who loved music and reading, as well as his beloved Portsmouth FC.
Audrey Morton gave a moving tribute to her brother. She recalled him as a peace-loving man, whose attitudes were shaped by growing up in the 1960s.
She said: ‘He was the most generous person I have ever known. He would be amazed by how many people are here today.
‘How missed and what a great person he was. It’s been wonderful to hear how much he was thought of by everyone, but of course, his family already knew that.’
She added: ‘He adored his wife Karel and he was so proud of his sons Sam and Jack and the young men they have grown into.’
Mourners were invited to reflect on Ken’s life as Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis was played.
The service drew to a close to the sounds of Mike Oldfield’s Portsmouth.
The family has asked that any donations are sent to PVP.
Cheques can be made out to Portsmouth City Council with reference number 131-HP111817 1HR 2057 written on the back.