A fitting send-off for Norwich City fan and well known mid Norfolk man Aubrey Armiger
It was a poignant send-off that life-long Norwich City fan Aubrey Armiger would have been proud of.
Aubrey – better known as Aub – died suddenly at home aged 65 and was carried to the service which celebrated his life at St Margaret's Church, Garvestone, wearing his Canaries hat and scarf and in a specially-made yellow and green coffin.
It had the number one on it – remembering him as the number one fan – and his relatives also arranged a carriage to take him to the church which was pulled by horses with plumes in City's famous colours.
Aubrey was well known in the Dereham area and had attended the Dereham Day Services (DDS) centre on Rash's Green since it opened 28 years ago. His sister Hazel Simms led tributes and said although he had learning difficulties and bone problems he had been a great inspiration and was always smiling.
She said: 'He had always been a Norwich City supporter and attended matches when he could. He hadn't been able to afford a season ticket but we were in the process of trying to get him one.
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'He loved watching them on the TV and followed stories in the papers.
'We wanted to give him the best possible send-off and give something back to Aubrey to thank him for what he has done for others. He would have been so proud – and would have loved the limelight!'
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Another poignant touch was that one of the coffin bearers was former Norwich City striker Alan Taylor, who now works for funeral directors Littleprouds. Hazel said: 'He would have been so proud that Alan Taylor was one of those carrying him.
'Aub was such a special person and a real inspiration to us. He was really funny and a pleasure to be with and he never let his disabilities stop him having a go. He was very witty and loved a joke and he will be very sadly missed and would not like us to have been sad.
'He was a typical Norfolk boy and was a proper gentleman.'
Aubrey was born at Stanhoe and went to school in Hunstanton and had lived for many years at Garvestone. Just five weeks ago Aubrey had moved in to his own bungalow with his sister Joan, who also attends DDS. They had an alarm in their new home and Aubrey had been very proud that he had alerted their relatives and the emergency services after she had a fall. Joan was then taken to hospital and had a hip replacement.
Joan said: 'I thought the world of him and I am very proud of him. He always supported me and was a caring and loving brother and was so kind to me. I will miss him so much.'
Aubrey had got engaged to Chloe Shingfield, who also attended DDS, and planned to get married.
He was a very keen gardener, and was heavily involved with gardening at DDS and often helped other people in the community.
Hazel said: 'He loved to watch things grow and get the produce. He worked hard all his life and never got paid for his work. He was the first one up to work and often the last one in. He overcame his disabilities and put many talented people to shame. He was a great brother.'
A private cremation was held later. Anyone still wanting to make a donation to the Friends of Dereham Day Services can do so through Littleproud Funeral Directors in Bradenham.