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Dumper truck used for Sheffield United fan’s funeral

Image source, Phil Cooper

Image caption, Dave Newton’s coffin was taken to his funeral on a dumper truck, at his request

A lifelong Sheffield United fan was taken to his own funeral on a dumper truck draped with his club’s colours.

Dave Newton planned his funeral about 10 years before he died suddenly from a heart attack on 20 March – and had made sure the truck was part of his wishes.

The 81-year-old from Whitwell, Derbyshire, used a funeral director which also ran a building firm.

His daughter’s partner, Phil Cooper, said mourners were not surprised as Mr Newton “would laugh at everything”.

He said: “Dave was having some work done around his home, and he used a company called Turner and Wilson, which also run a funeral director’s in Whitwell.

Image source, Phil Cooper

Image caption, The 81-year-old died from a heart attack the day before his 60th wedding anniversary

“So when he asked the same company to arrange his funeral – because he wanted everything to be in place before he went – he said, ‘Oh I don’t want a hearse, just stick me in a dumper truck’- so we did!”

Mr Newton had been in good health before he died, and was even due to mark his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife Ann the following day.

The couple had planned to renew their vows that weekend, at the same church where he was to have his funeral.

The funeral service was held on 10 April, and Mr Cooper – who has been in a relationship with Tracy Newton for more than 30 years – said only about seven people knew the dumper truck would be used for the cortege.

Image source, Phil Cooper

Image caption, Mourners walked behind the dumper truck at Mr Newton’s funeral

“It was a sad occasion but also, in keeping with Dave’s sense of humour, it needed to be light-hearted,” he said.

“When we first got there, Dave went from his house to the church in the dumper but not many people saw that, as they were in the church and it was raining.

“When he came out of the church, they put him on the dumper and it went from the church up to the graveyard which was about 200 yards (183m) away – everyone walked behind it and followed it.

“Everyone was just shaking their head as if to say, I’m not surprised, it’s just like Dave.”

Turner and Wilson has been approached for comment.

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