'He may be gone but he will never be forgotten' - a celebration of the life of Hartlepool Cricket club legend Danny Shurmer
Hartlepool Cricket Club has bid farewell to one of its beloved sons.
Danny Shurmer spent more than 30 years at the club, man and boy.
Danny, who passed away suddenly last month after collapsing at the home she shared with fiancee Jill, joined the club as a junior member aged 10 and went on represent both first and second teams.
A celebration of his life was held at the cricket ground ahead of a private family cremation.
Dozens of mourners were able to attend the socially-distanced service, which was held on the pitch to maximise the attendance.
The hearse circled the ground to the strains of Danny Boy before the coffin, blue to signify his love of Hartlepool United and emblazoned with both football and cricket club badges, was lifted out.
As it was placed back into the hearse to depart for the crematorium, members of the club’s first and second teams formed a guard of honour with their bats raised high.
A Hartlepool United shirt with Shurmer 43 – the age Danny was when he died – was among the tributes and the scoreboard also showed 43.
The service was led by Danny’s aunt Liz, who shared her memories of the boy she adored and the man he had become while his friend and former teammate Nick Kennedy regaled the congregation with tales of Danny’s many practical jokes – and how impossible it had been to remain angry with him.
"No-one was safe from Danny’s humour but there was never anything nasty or vindictive because he was not that sort of bloke,” he said.
The pair had spent many hours walking their dogs together during lock-down and it was obvious ‘how happy and contented he seemed with every aspect of his life.”
Mum Pam also remembered Danny’s infectious sense of humour, saying: “He would laugh and get out of any bother.
"Daniel really was very unassuming and he would have no idea how loved he was by so many people.
"He may be gone but he will never be forgotten.”
Danny was a fanatical Hartlepool United fan and was looking forward to traveling to Bristol see the team take on Torquay United in the National League play-off final when he died.
Pools manager Dave Challinor was part of a party of backroom staff paying their respects at the service.
"It is really important to be here, to show our support in what are terrible circumstances,” said Dave.
"I think it is the least we can do.”
Hartlepool Cricket Club chairman Alan Jackson said the club had been pleased to host the ceremony.
"It is all a bit overwhelming, but it is a real genuine honour,” he said.
"Danny had 30 years at this club and were were more than happy to host a celebration of life for Danny here.
"It is a great privilege to have his family and all his friends here. He had many, many, many, many friends and that is what you can see here.”
Second team captain Peter Rhoden said he had lost not only a great teammate but a great friend.
"It was absolutely devastating – it has hit the club hard,” he said.
"We respected the family’s wishes and played on the Saturday. Danny would never have wanted any game to be called off.”
The club has raised over £1,000 to buy a bench for the pavilion balcony in memory of Danny.
“It is going next to the one dedicated to his granda and nana, George and Irene,” said Peter.