This obituary was written with a bookie's pen....but Pat would approve (writes Drew Cochrane).

For a popular Largs character it is no surprise that there was a large turn-out at St Mary's RC Church on Monday for Patrick Joseph McGinty who died, aged 82.

At the start, personal friend, Fr Eamonn Flynn, said that Pat's health had declined rapidly in the past year leaving a great gap in the lives of family and friends.

In a very emotional ending to the funeral Mass his grand-daughter, Starr Penders performed classic Phantom Of The Opera aria, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, in a beautiful, haunting voice which earned great applause.

Fr Flynn said that he had had many conversations over a drink with Pat who was renowned for his love of horse and greyhound racing and was able to relate great, entertaining stories, not to mention betting tips.

"He was outgoing, generous, funny and, as he admitted, cantankerous at times but also a God fearing man who attended Mass every Sunday when he was fit."

Born and bred in Largs from a large Catholic family, Pat worked as a costing clerk at sites which included Hunterston and Inverkip Power Stations, and the Forth Road Bridge.

He was the area's 'Coupon' man, doing door-to-door football coupons for an amazing 57 years. He also co-founded Largs Colts Football Club and managed teams to success. He managed the St Mary's school team which won the Ayrshire Cup in the 70s, featuring his son Rory. Ironically, as a Celtic supporter he was proud when grandson, Owen McGinty graduated from the local Colts to Rangers youth system.

He also helped at St Mary's services and was a great fundraiser for many organisations, running his popular Race Nights, particularly associated with Halkshill Bowling Club.

In addition to being a greyhound trainer Pat was the popular 'board' man at the former Bunny Wilkie's bookmakers, chalking up the prices while chatting with the punters. He personally introduced this writer to the wonders of the Trixie bet, backing three horses at the same time, to differing degrees of success!

Younger brother Roddy gave a short eulogy, sprinkled with funny stories of Pat's involvement on the turf and track. He was a regular sight, walking his dogs which had trouble keeping up with him. He thanked everyone for their kind words and deeds. Brother Joe gave a reading.

The funeral service was followed by burial at Haylie Brae cemetery. He is succeeded by children Mary, Rory and Karen, grandchildren and siblings Mary, Joe, Roddy and Gerard.

A collection was taken for Largs District Nurses.