Tributes paid to ‘gentle giant’ during funeral service of Portsmouth taxi driver

GOODBYE Floral tributes, including cricket stumps, at the funeral of Allen McBride
GOODBYE Floral tributes, including cricket stumps, at the funeral of Allen McBride

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A MEMORIAL cricket match is being planned to pay tribute to ‘gentle giant’ Allen McBride.

The funeral of the much-loved taxi driver took place yesterday. Scores of people went to Portchester Crematorium to pay their final respects to the father of three, who was an avid cricket fan and player, and who died last month aged 46.

Allen McBride

Allen McBride

Chris Thomas, chairman of the Bedhampton Mariners Cricket Club, where Mr Allen was a member, was there.

Mr Thomas said: ‘Allen had no enemies, only friends. He was a gentle giant, and a very positive person.

‘He was a big fan of cricket, and his father was one of the founders of this club, so it was very much a part of Allen’s background.

‘He played for Portsmouth and Southsea Cricket Club, and the club is looking to name a cup in his memory.

‘We are also in discussions about having a memorial game between the two clubs.’

Friend Brian White, 67, of Horndean, said: ‘He was a very kind man. He was extremely pleasant and helped everyone around him.’

During the service, the song You’ll Never Walk Alone, was played.

Afterwards friends and family went to The Baffins pub, in Tangier Road, Baffins.

His mother Patricia McBride, 71, thanked all those who attended.

Mr McBride’s private hire car hit a wall when he had a medical episode at the wheel and died.

He had just left his house in Northover Road, Copnor, on the night of Saturday, January 25, and was heading to work.

His car careered off the road at the junction of Cobden Avenue and Chesterfield Road, knocking down a wall.

Nobody from the house was hurt but Mr McBride was declared dead at the scene.

Mr McBride was born and grew up in Portsmouth, attending Westover Primary School and Great Salterns Secondary School before leaving to work as a butcher at the family-run C&D Butchers in Copnor.

Five years ago, he changed career to become a private hire driver, working with Citywide Taxis and four years before that for Aqua Cars.