JOHNNY Vegas was among the mourners who turned out to pay their respects at the funeral of well-known shopkeeper and popular figure Jimmy Metcalfe.

St Matthew's Church in Thatto Heath was filled out this afternoon (Monday, August 12) for the funeral service of James 'Jimmy' Metcalfe, a much-loved man in the community who passed away on July 21 aged 70.

READ MORE > Tributes paid to much-loved shopkeeper Jimmy Metcalfe

Many turned out wearing red to signify sports fan Jimmy's love of Saints and Manchester United.

His hearse which bore the word 'Dad' in flowers also contained Saints-related items and a floral tribute in the shape of a cricket bat, with Jimmy having played for a few pub sides.

St Helens Star:

The floral tribute

Jimmy, referred to as a "practical joker" with a great "sense of fun", had been involved with Metcalfe's shop on Fir Street for more than 50 years since he was 15.

It was said how "people knew how hard he worked and how he valued his customers and knew them all".

He leaves behind wife of 46 years Joyce; three sons James, Jon and Matthew; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He will also be missed by mum, Mary, 96, his siblings, in-laws and nephews and nieces.

He was described in the service as a "loving grandparent, husband and devoted dad".

At the funeral granddaughters Jamie Lou and Emily read out a touching poem written in his memory and shared some humourous tales of Jimmy and how he "lit a room" with his smile.

St Helens Star:

Jimmy's characteristic smile

They said how people would "really miss him with those white teeth" adding: "We can't quite believe he's actually gone, but we'll always remember him when Sky Sports comes on".

It was said how Jimmy was also known to the Thatto Heath community as a local sportsman and loved rugby, cricket, golf and squash and was a proud captain of Sherdley Hall Golf Society.

St Helens Star:

Jimmy was a loving dad and family man

Jimmy was a "father figure to many local lads and he gave his time to the local community and was respected for that".

Following the church service, the hearse was then taken to St Helens Crematorium for a committal.