High on the hills above Huddersfield they braved snow, hail and bitter cold to pay tribute to Joe Brook.
Nearly 300 mourners packed Scapegoat Hill Baptist Church to bid farewell to the young engineer, who died in a road accident on January 12 less than two weeks after his 21st birthday .
And the warmth of their tributes meant the poignancy of the occasion was leavened by humour as multiple speakers found the voice to recount frequently funny stories of the dryly witty young man with a winning smile.
Among them was 20-year-old Joseph Wright, a lifelong friend of Joe, who described him as “one of a kind.” At the finale of a sincere and personal eulogy he urged everyone present to remember his childhood pal.
There were further heartfelt and deeply moving remembrances from Gary Smallwood, speaking on behalf of Joe’s parents Joanne and Mark, from Joe’s younger brother, Jack, and from Joe’s grandfather, John.
There was also music by Oasis and Sam Cooke, poetry, the lighting of candles and a rousing rendition of ‘Jerusalem.’
As the tributes ended the church rang to the sound of a spontaneous round of applause from those present.
A committal service followed at Huddersfield Crematorium.
Joe, of Nettleton Hill, was killed when his white Renault Clio left the road and collided with a dry stone wall and a lamppost at Round Ings Road at Scapegoat Hill at 7.50pm.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The results of a preliminary post mortem examination by Dr Lisa Barker said the cause of death was from head, neck and chest injuries. An inquest has been opened and adjourned.
The scene is still adorned with floral tributes.
The former pupil of Salendine Nook High School had been due to book a summer holiday with friends the day after he died.
The tragic death of the lifelong Huddersfield Town fan prompted fellow supporters to hold a minute’s applause in the 21st minute of the home game against Birmingham City last Saturday to honour his memory .
Fittingly, Town scored in the very same minute.