TRIBUTES have been paid to a “gentle giant” who died earlier this month.
Grandfather-of-six Peter Illingworth, 60, was a former Wakefield Express maintenance man who worked for the company for 30 years.
He died on May 5 after battling pneumonia for more than a week.
The avid Wakefield Wildcats fan was buried along with his home shirt. And his funeral cortege passed by the Belle Vue ground on Monday.
Stepson Aaron Riley, 27, said: “Peter was a quiet, humble man who wouldn’t hurt anyone. He was a typical gentle giant, which is why it pained us to lose him as he’d never done anyone any harm.
“He was always one for pleasing my mum Carol and he would do anything that she asked of him. They would always hold hands no matter how short the walk they were on, even if it was just to the nearby shops.”
Mrs Illingworth, 66, of Frederick Avenue, Agbrigg, said: “He was truly loving and caring. He has just been a wonderful husband for 13 years. He was simply the best. I’m a better person for knowing him.”
After he left school he worked for Wakefield Council as a painter and decorator. He was first married in 1973 and was father to Rachel, Sean and Wayne. But Sean tragically died aged 17 in a motorcycle accident in 1992.
Mr Illingworth was buried alongside his son in Sugar Lane Cemetery following a service at St Catherine’s Church this week.
Mr Riley said: “The comfort our family has from the loss of Pete is that he is now reunited with his son in heaven.”