Mourners pay tribute at funeral of sportsman Tyrone Wildman

mourners gather at the crematorium to pay their final respects to Tyrone
mourners gather at the crematorium to pay their final respects to Tyrone

HUNDREDS of family members and friends paid their last respects to a well-loved sporting legend.

Mourners gathered at Hastings Crematorium on Tuesday for the funeral of Tyrone Wildman.

A procession of mourners walked from his ex-wife Kathleen’s home in Elphinstone Avenue to the crematorium on The Ridge.

A speaker was set up outside so people could listen to the service as the chapel was packed. Speeches and poems about Mr Wildman’s life achievements were made by his friends, including former Meridian newsreader Jonathan Mendenhall, who conducted the service, and Simon Reynolds, former Sidley Cricket Club member.

Mr Wildman’s coffin bore floral tributes with the words ‘Husband’ and ‘Dad’ spelled out. Mrs Wildman, who was married to Tyrone for 33 years, “It was nice that so many people from all walks of life came and remembered him, not just for his work but for all the different people he helped down the years.”

Mr Wildman, of Hopgarden Close, died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot on the lung, on December 18, aged 59.

He excelled in a number of sports, notably bodybuilding and cricket and had played for Sidley Cricket Club since 1974. He worked as a fitness instructor at Falaise Fitness Centre in Cambridge Road for 16 years and became widely respected for his sporting achievements. He was British bodybuilding champion in 1982 and before that was a powerlifting champion.

Mr Wildman, originally from Kingston in Jamaica, competed in athletics and ran the Hastings Half Marathon 12 times. He played table tennis for Hollington Table Tennis Club and also played Sussex Cricket Club for the over-50s and 60s, which reached the national finals.

After the service a wake was held at Sidley Cricket Club and another one with a Jamaican theme at Venuu.