Largs paid its final respects to legendary character Pat Rall - who had joyful, witty and funny personality which will be much missed by all who knew him.

The 77-year-old passed away earlier this month following a battle with prostate cancer, and his funeral took place at St Mary's Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, yesterday (August 23), where warm tributes were paid and tears shed.

There was strong representation from Largs Thistle F.C, the club to which Pat was devoted to throughout his life, with management and players forming a guard of honour in respect of Pat at Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley crematorium, after he passed his beloved Barrfields Park for one final time.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

At Pat's funeral service, former News editor Drew Cochrane delivered the eulogy.

He said: "Pat Rall was a life force; it is a fact that you cannot destroy energy - it just goes into another form, and Pat Rall was a life energy.

"Pat had a lifelong devotion to Largs Thistle, ever since he was a wee nipper, when Largs played Clydebank 70 years ago in 1953 when 6,500 were crammed into Barrfields Park.

"He was a faithful follower, and was on the committee, he was the club kit man, clubhouse caretaker and pal to generations of Largs Thistle managers and players; tributes continue to pour in for Pat.

"It is absolutely unique in not just Largs, but Scotland, that the manager and the players carry the supporter in the church - that is quite historical - and the players formed a guard of honour at the crematorium - that is pretty much what Pat meant to people.

"Pat was with the team on that fairytale cup final when Largs Thistle won at Ibrox in the Scottish Junior Cup final in 1994. The successful manager at the time, John Crawford, stated that Pat always had a wee twinkle in his eye, and was so genuine, and once you were a friend of Pat's, you were a friend for life, and that's true."

Pat was born on October 3, 1945, following the Second World War. His parents were John and Jessie, and he was born in Buckreddan Hospital in Kilwinning, one of seven siblings.

He was in the class of the sister of his future wife, Rosie, and Rosie was in Pat's brother's class, so they always knew each other, and Pat attended St Peter's in Ardrossan, and starting going out with Rosie in 1966 at a dance at Fairlie Village Hall where they were both 'good rock n roll jivers'. They were married at Largs Registry Office in 1958, celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary earlier this year.

They went on to have a family of four, Michelle, Tracey, Darren and Lesley, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

As a teenager, Pat started off as a painter and decorator, and moved into the construction business which saw him work in Sellafield, Hunterston Power Station, and the creation of London Heathrow Terminal 5.

He suffered the loss of half a toe during a work accident, and also briefly worked in The Falklands.

Father Peter Magee of St Mary's Star of the Sea Church described Pat as a 'legendary figure', not just at Largs Thistle but to his family and friends, and he was well-known throughout football in the west of Scotland.

He said: "It was obvious that Pat was a man for others - he learnt that from the family to which he was born with no less than seven siblings, but he took that lesson onwards, and developed it throughout his life is so many ways, firstly and most importantly in his marriage to Rosemary.

"Pat's family know how much he loved them, and his selflessness was also evident practically to the whole of Largs and beyond.

"He became such a personality and character, and he became so defined as a man because he put others first, and his self giving, which was one of his greatest strengths. Another thing about Pat was his joy, and colourful and witty personality which is the fruit of true love. A person with genuine happiness always attracts others because others detect in them a warmth, a goodness and a love.

"We all have our memories of Pat's fun side, but what matters is the internal spirit with which Pat saw it to engage with others to bring a smile, a laugh, a sense of reassurance and hope.

"He suffered his final illness with as much spirit, resilience and dignity as he could. With that inner strength he had right to the end, you can only admire Pat's endurance, and the Lord is never far from the one who suffers, and they invite him to come to him, to experience his comforts and peace of Christ."

Following a short service at the crematorium, a reception took place at The Brisbane House Hotel.