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3:39:59 PM
Football fans mourn United boss


Dundee United fans
Fans gathered near the church

About 1,000 Dundee United fans gathered to mourn chairman Eddie Thompson as his funeral took place in Broughty Ferry.

Mr Thompson died last week aged 67 after a long battle with cancer.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly were among those attending the service at St Mary's Episcopal Church.

The service was for family and friends only but loudspeakers were used to broadcast the ceremony to mourners gathered outside the church.

Colourful clothes

Members of the United squad arrived along with their manager, Craig Levein.

BBC Scotland's politics editor Brian Taylor, a lifelong fan of Dundee Utd, also attended the service, along with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith.

Eddie Thompson
Mr Thompson took control of Dundee United in 2002

At Mr Thompson's request, colourful clothes were worn at the funeral, with donations going to Ward 32 at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Some of Mr Thompson's favourite songs, including music from The Beatles, Rod Stewart and Neil Diamond, were played before the service, which was led by the Very Reverend Robert Breaden.

BBC sports broadcaster Jim Spence spoke during the service along with Mr Levein and Fraser Mackay, a business partner of Mr Thompson.

Paying tribute, Dundee United director Derek Robertson said: "This is a very sad day and emotional time for a lot of people at the club and also for the Thompson family.

"We shouldn't forget this is a very private day for them as well - given all they've been through this past week.

"But Eddie would be the first to say that life will go on, I'm sure that somewhere up there he'll be giving people a hard time to make sure that Dundee United thrive and prosper."

Fans who were gathered outside the church clapped as the coffin was led out to Daniel Boone's 70s hit Beautiful Sunday, a song regularly played at Tannadice.

The Glasgow-born businessman, who sold his Morning, Noon and Night chain of convenience stores for £30m in 2004, became the majority shareholder in Dundee United six years ago and quickly turned a £2.7m loss into an operating profit.

He became a hugely-popular figure with the club's fans, and set up a supporters' trust which became the club's second-largest stakeholder.

Mr Thompson is survived by his wife Cath, children Justine and Stephen, and four grandchildren.

His death came just days after his son-in-law Ken Mitchell, 38, was killed in a motorcycle collision.
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