HUNDREDS of people gathered in Selby Abbey to pay tribute to David Alan Lawton, a beloved father and grandfather, who was described as “a legend”.

Mr Lawton known as Ed to his family and friends, had lived in Selby all his life. He died suddenly on December 14, at the age of 49.

About 300 people gathered at the Abbey, and many members of the congregation were friends, family members and colleagues from Selby District Council’s Enterprise service, where he worked as a binman.

Many mourners stood at the back of the Abbey as Mr Lawton’s coffin was brought in to the song One Last Love Song by The Beautiful South.

Canon John Weetman read a statement from June, Mr Lawton’s widow, which described him as a “a proud and devoted granddad”, and “a legend”.

It read: “He was a well-known character with a love of cars, boats, trains and Land Rovers, and if it didn’t leak oil, he didn’t want to know. He was a loveable rogue who was loved by everyone. Ed was a legend and they broke the mould when they made him.

Mr Lawton’s children, David and Natalie, also provided a tribute which was read to the congregation. In it, they called their father “our rock” and “a dedicated family man who was always there”.

They said: “We never thought that we would be here today to say our goodbyes.

“We’ll always remember our little saying: ‘love you billions, all the numbers in the world’.”

“We know deep down he was proud of what we had achieved in our lives and that was down to just two people, our mum and our dad.

“You were taken too young, but will go on being our bright and shining star. Until we meet again, rest in peace dad, you will never be forgotten.”

A minutes’ silence was held, and a collection took place in support of Selby Abbey and The Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The funeral procession left the Abbey to Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, before a private burial.