Tears flow at officer’s funeral

10th November 2011'Funeral of PC Mark Goodlad in Wakefield.'PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
10th November 2011'Funeral of PC Mark Goodlad in Wakefield.'PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

A SON clutched his father’s police cap as he entered Wakefield Cathedral to say a tearful final farewell to an officer hailed as a hero.

The city centre came to a standstill as hundreds of fellow officers, family and friends paid their respects to PC Mark Goodlad, who died while helping a vulnerable motorist who was stranded on the motorway last month.

Officers on horseback and motorbikes led the funeral cortege as it made its way through the city to the cathedral.

Along the way people stopped to bow their heads in respect of a policeman well-known in Wakefield for his work as a family liaison officer.

His wife, Helen, and 14-year-old son Ben, followed as officers and friends led the coffin into the cathedral.

In a moving eulogy the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison, said the memory of PC Goodlad would continue to live on.

He said: “We shouldn’t define heroes by the way they die. But, recognise them instead, by the way they lived their lives. On that basis, Mark is a hero.

“His contribution to policing isn’t laid out in his annual performance reports. They’re good, don’t get me wrong, but they are pale and insipid descriptions of what he brought to his calling.

“The richer, and consistent, narrative is to be discovered in the words and letters of condolence from the hundreds of people, some in this church today, who have been touched by some small service given readily, professionally and compassionately, by Mark, in his policing role.”

PC Goodlad died on October 24 when he stopped to help a female driver on the hard shoulder of the M1 southbound near to Crigglestone.

An articulated lorry collided with PC Goodlad and his marked police patrol car.

A 44-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released on bail pending further investigation.

Anyone with information should contact West Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Enquiry Team by calling 101.