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PC David Rathband's Funeral Attracts Hundreds

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PC David Rathband's Funeral Attracts Hundreds
PC David Rathband's Funeral Attracts Hundreds

Hundreds of people gathered today for the funeral of blinded Pc David Rathband, which began in humorous style with the Monty Python song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

Humanist celebrant Carly Fee told the congregation at Stafford Crematorium that the policeman's family were "unanimous" that his funeral should be a celebration of his life.

She said the song - which drew laughs from some of the mourners - was chosen because "it encapsulates David's own optimistic outlook and irrepressible humour".

Pc Rathband, a father of two, was shot by gunman Raoul Moat in 2010. He hanged himself at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29.

The celebrant described Pc Rathband, a former traffic officer with Northumbria Police, as "David the brave" and "David the hero".

His identical twin brother Darren delivered a moving eulogy, pausing briefly to compose his emotions halfway through.

He said: "We were the image of each other, but I can never come close to the man he was."

Recalling the last time he saw his brother alive - when he visited his home in Australia - he said: "It broke my heart seeing him arrive in Adelaide. He was a shattered man, he looked so tired and frail, and the scars were so clearly visible."

Darren Rathband said his brother struggled with his blindness, and had found the flight to Australia difficult.

"This was my brother's new life, and it wasn't first class," he said.

He added: "David often said, 'I wish somebody would turn the lights on'."

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