A SEA of red and white filled Worcester crematorium chapel as family and friends gathered to remember a much loved father who was "always smiling".

More than 100 people packed into the chapel on Astwood Road today for the funeral of Christopher Willmott, who died after a car travelling along Cotswold Way in Blackpole hit him on Friday, August 1.

Mourners, many dressed in Manchester United or England t-shirts, entered the crematorium to one of the 48-year-old's favourite songs, Many Rivers to Cross by UB40, and a number of people had to stand for the service after seats filled up quickly.

The service, that was due to start at 11.30am, started ten minutes late and Anna Briggs, who conducted the service, joked that it was in "true Chris fashion to be late to his own service".

"His death was totally unexpected. His life was over in a split second," she said.

"Chris was Warndon born and bred and proud of it. He was very mischievous and always winding people up.

"He loved reggae, ska and rock 'n' roll. He has been described as a loveable rogue, a cheeky bugger who always made people laugh and feel welcome. His three children say they couldn't ask for a better dad."

Following music by Ali Campbell and Shakin' Stevens, Mr Willmott's youngest daughter, Danielle, paid an emotional tribute to her father.

The 21-year-old said: "My dad was always smiling no matter what, he always had a laugh and a joke. He was the best dad, I couldn't ask for better. You were taken too soon.

"We were his babies. I wish I could give him one last kiss and tell him I love him. We will think about you every day. I miss you so much and I love you. Good night daddy, sleep tight."

Friends and family heard funny stories from Mr Willmott's past, and were reminded of his love of football, fishing, and his family most of all.

Tributes taken from a Facebook page set up following Mr Willmott's death — R.I.P Chrissy Willmott — were read out before people were asked to stand and sing the first verse of Glory, Glory Man United before his Manchester United coffin was carried out to Red, Red Wine by UB40.

Helder Dasilva Pina, 34, of Brook Street, Barbourne, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and will appear at Worcester Crown Court on November 24.