A personalised lorry followed by 30 motocross riders marked the funeral of lifelong Nottingham Forest fan Steve Brough – whose dying wish to watch the Reds one last time gripped the hearts of football fans far and wide.
Mr Brough went on trips with friends he used to motocross with – including to the Pyrenees – and the 30 riders followed the hearse and the lorry to the service at the Amber Valley Memorial Park and Crematorium, Derby Road, Swanwick, Alfreton.
Josh Brough said Ryan Colson, a friend of his dad, helped to arrange the lorry tribute.
He also said his dad, Mr Brough, who used to run his own haulage business, “lived for trucking”.
Speaking before the funeral, Josh, 27, said: “It’s a fitting tribute – they’re going to have when my dad died on the back of it as well and the year he was born: 1969 until 2021. It’s a Renault Magnum, it’s exactly what my dad had.
“My dad used to have a little quote above his window – it said ‘livin’ the dream’. He even had that put on it as well.
“It’s just a good way of honouring my dad. He lived for trucking, that’s all he ever did.
“We’re going to be stopping, to take my dad out of the hearse to put him on the lorry – he’s doing the last bit of the journey on the back of the lorry. The lorry’s going to reverse back into the crematorium.”
Guests were asked to wear football shirts or bright colours to the service.
“Whenever you saw my dad he was just in jeans, T-shirts or he was in joggers,” said Josh, who lives in Derby Road, Heanor, and works at a coronavirus testing centre in Chaddesden.
“He was never in smart gear. He just said ‘I don’t want everyone to get smart just for one day for me’.
“He said ‘look, I want everyone to put football colours or bright colours’. I’m wearing a Forest shirt that he bought me.
“Even the celebrant, who’s doing the service, he’s wearing a Madness T-shirt. My dad was a massive Madness fan. It’s a celebration – we’re going to be remembering him for the right reasons.”
Mr Brough, who lived with his wife in Holmesfield Drive, Heanor, was cremated and Josh wrote a poem for the service.
The wake was arranged to take place at Heanor Town Football Club.
Lorry driver Mr Brough passed away peacefully in hospital at the age of 52 on April 20.
Having been diagnosed oesophageal cancer, he was later told he had just weeks to live.
Mr Brough also leaves behind wife Amira Brough, son Lewis, 21, and his grandchildren.
Josh said: “We’re all doing well, a lot better than what I expected but it’s not easy to accept.
“My mum’s really upset, obviously she’s devastated but I’m being really strong for her and my little brother is as well.”
Mr Brough’s brother Mick Eames, 56, who lives in Alvaston, Derby, said: “It’s sending him on his final journey, just to remember the happy times with him.
“It’s good to see that people have made the effort to come out for him – even in these times with Covid.
“I just struggle without him. He has been a big part of my life, I have got a lot of good memories with him that I will treasure forever.”
Before the funeral, Mr Eames, an assistant manager at a bingo hall, explained he and his wife, Tracey Eames, planned to wear Forest shirts on the day.
Mr Brough previously said the coronavirus lockdown restrictions meant he had been unable to make the memories he would have liked, comparing his situation to being on “Death Row”.
He had hoped to watch the Reds one last time at the City Ground in-person but efforts to try and make this happen were unsuccessful.
The club made a request to the relevant government authorities, via the EFL, for legislation to be amended in a bid to permit Mr Brough entry in exceptional circumstances. But the request was turned down by the powers that be.
Mr Brough, who received a series of videos of support from Forest players past and present, said he’d been “truly humbled” by the widespread messages of support he received from fans of different clubs.
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