THE funeral of a man who became the boss of housing giant Barratt has been held in Belmont.

Frank Eaton, the company's chairman and chief executive, was killed when he was involved in a crash near Newcastle.

His funeral service was held yesterday at St Peter's Church in Belmont village where he once lived.

Mr Eaton, who was 52, grew up in the Crankwood Road area of Leigh.

He went to Leigh Secondary Modern School and left at the age of 15 to work in the building industry.

He joined Barratt Manchester as construction director in September, 1979, and became managing director in July,1983.

Five years later he was appointed to the main board as chairman of the company's central region.

He was appointed group chief executive in 1991 and group chairman in 1997.

A Barratt spokesman said his contribution to the company had been immeasurable.

He added: "Our thoughts are with Mr Eaton's family."

He leaves a wife, Elaine, and three children.

The accident happened on Monday of last week on the A69 west of Newcastle.

Mr Eaton was killed when his Jaguar Sovereign car collided head-on with another car.

Paul Stimpson, aged 48, of Northumberland, also died in the late night accident.

The company builds more than 12,000 homes a year and grew by 20 per cent in the 10 years that Mr Eaton ran it.