MORE than 100 mourners packed out St James’ Methodist Church today for the funeral of 88-year-old Jack Platt who died hours after being found following a two day community led search.

People who were part of the search joined Jack’s family and friends to pay tribute to a “gentleman and gentle man” who united a town - with many having to go to the balcony as the church was so full.

Following a retelling of touching anecdotes of Jack’s life and personality from his childhood in Sutton Manor to his married life in Rainhill, his son John Platt, said: “We think it was attempts to go back to home that finally led to his disappearance.

“I know many here today were involved in the search for dad and the response from you all has been incredible so I’d like to thank you all.

“Family, friends, Merseyside Police, the search and rescue blokes and the people of St Helens and the wider North West, we asked and you answered.

“You gave up your weekend, your free time and came and helped us and we are in your debt.

“We’ve had people get in touch to say they have become friends after meeting to try and find dad.

“It should be a sad occasion but the selflessness and unity that everyone did to come together for the search has help sway some of that.

“I said earlier that dad loved films, in one way it’s put what happened into context and one that springs to mind is Dunkirk.

“Facts aside and getting to the essence of the tale, my dad’s life was a very British affair and people knowing they were needed were called in to help the professionals to bring their kinsman home.

“Sadly, there was no Hollywood ending but that wouldn’t have been very in keeping with dad either, but we got our little victory.

“There’s too many heroes in that story and as a family we are in your debt. Thanks to the actions of you all you brought him home and he passed in the presence of loving voices and hands.”