A fitting send-off for Ford Del Boy fan

The Only Fools and Horses hearse. Pic: Contributed
The Only Fools and Horses hearse. Pic: Contributed

‘Oh Rodney, you plonker’ is best known as a catchphrase of Only Fool’s and Horse’s Del Boy, however it played its part in inspiring a funeral with a difference last week too.

Gary Edmundson, a well known Ford resident, former business owner and David Jason fan, died on January 14 aged 60, following a lung condition.

Wife Julie said the family – which includes four children and eight grandchildren – were keen not to give her husband of 40 years a conventional send off, so when Bognor-based funeral director Darren Miles mentioned the famous sitcom themed hearse they knew it would be perfect.

“I think I must have said ‘oh Rodney, you plonker’ to one of our girls and he went and got the picture,” she recalled. “He asked if it would be something we would be interested in and we said absolutely.

“Gary was a huge Old Fools and Horses fan, he used to watch it any time he got.

“We wanted to celebrate what life he had, rather then mourn the loss.

“We are devastated by his death but we have tried to be brave and smile for him.”

The sense of celebration was definitely aided by having the iconic yellow Reliant Robins, on what Julie believes was the first funeral featuring this vehicle in Sussex.

In addition to the suitcase, on top the cars carried saw the boots Gary always wore given pride of place thanks to an ‘amazing’ flower arrangement made by a family friend.

The service, held at Worthing Crematorium on February 6 is said to have seen some 200 people turn out to pay their respects.

“That shocked me,” said Julie. “I knew he was popular but didn’t think we would have had many.

“He would have been amazed by the number of people there, he was such a modest man.”

“He had a great sense of humour and always had a smile on his face,” she added. “He had the last laugh.”