THE FORMER chairman of Bolton Hockey Club received an appropriate send off at his funeral on Thursday.

Ex-members of Bolton Hockey Club turned out at St Thomas of Canterbury church to say goodbye to Harold Smith, who died at the age of 89 on October 5.

Harold was one of the founding members of Bolton Hockey Club, and continued playing the sport until the age of 68.

He first began playing hockey while in Malaysia during his national service.

His son Chris Smith said: "The guard of honour properly finished it off really.

"It's an awful time to have a funeral and we couldn't have all the family inside.

"But when we came out it was nice to see that. It felt like a fitting tribute to him.

"They were all ex members of the hockey club who held out their sticks as the coffin came out.

"It makes you realise that there are still nice people out there.

"Once things return to normal we are hoping to create a memorial for him at the club, so people will remember who he was."

Harold was also a teacher at St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School.

A spokesman for the club said: " As a stalwart of Bolton Hockey Club he could be seen taking to the pitch well into his 70s.

"He was a lovely chap who had time for everyone. Rest in peace Harold."