MORE than 40 people paid their respects to a man with no known family whose funeral had to be arranged by the council.
A service was held at Chester Crematorium yesterday morning, with poems read and tributes made to the 61-year-old Everton fan.
The Leader reported on Wednesday that little was known about Mr Williams' life, and no one had come forward following an appeal to trace his next of kin by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
During the funeral service, it emerged he was well-known at the Chichester Arms pub on Garden Lane, as well as among a handful of his neighbours on Cotes Place.
A eulogy to him revealed he had grown up in Jamaica before moving to Chester in his late teens.
He lived a “hippy life”, working occasionally as a labourer and enjoyed fishing and watching his favourite football team play – often over a glass or two of whisky.
Mr Williams died peacefully on August 6 following a battle with cancer. He had moved in to Tarvin Court Care Home a week before he passed away.
He was described as a generous man who lived day by day and would always go out of his way for other people.
Once after receiving a tax rebate of £1,000 he took a girlfriend away and spent the entire amount on one weekend of fun.
Friend and neighbour Barbara Hoxworth said: “He was a very good-hearted person. He would do anything for anybody.”
At the end of the service Mr Williams' favourite song was played, Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.
A tribute to him read: “A special smile, a special face; In our hearts a special place; Memories are a gift to treasure; Ours of you will last forever.”
CWaC has had to step in to arrange funerals on 26 occasions in the past five years – an average of around five a year. Public funds are only used when no family can be traced to foot the bill.
See full story in the Chester Leader