HE was a real treasure of a man.
Those were the heartfelt words as more than 300 people turned out to say goodbye to footballer Kim Manns, who strived to help others with motor neurone disease.
There was hardly a dry eye in the house as fond tributes were read out at The Church of St Peter & St Paul in Hambledon – a place where Kim was christened, married and enjoyed many family occasions.
Kim died earlier this month at the age of 61 after being diagnosed with MND three years ago.
The service heard that Kim played more than 300 games over 20 years for Waterlooville FC and had a spell at Pompey in the early 1970s.
His son Christopher said: ‘I know he’s chuffed to bits to see you all here today.’
He spoke of how his father grew up in Vicarage Lane, Hambledon, and how Kim always loved the village.
‘Sport was a passion through his life,’ he said.
‘It’s through sport that he met lifelong and loyal friends.’
The family have been reminiscing over old editions of the Sports Mail with headlines such as ‘It’s a Manns World’.
Kim, who lived in Copnor, was also a manager at Petersfield FC and a coach at Denmead, Southwick United and Moneyfields.
He played cricket for Hambledon and made many friends at Waterlooville Golf Club.
The service heard that Kim’s biggest passion was his family, including wife Stephne, sons Christopher and Samuel, daughter-in-law Lucie and grandsons George and Teddy.
The congregation, which included many retired footballers, was told how Kim fought the disease with dignity and was always smiling.
Kim helped raise more than £30,000 for charities devoted to researching the illness.
He was the leader in getting Portsmouth City Council to sign an MND charter pledging to support patients.
Christopher said: ‘I think that’s what they call a legacy. He was hoping to inspire others in his own humble way.’