Fun final furlong for Fleetwood dad who loved racing

Mr Abey's coffin decorated with scenes from his beloved horse racing

Mr Abey's coffin decorated with scenes from his beloved horse racing

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A son ensured his beloved father was given a send-off to remember.

Former Fleetwood fish merchant Stuart Abey, who died last month aged 76, was driven to Carleton Crematorium in a bespoke funeral hearse specially created by his son Darren.

Stuart Abey

Stuart Abey

Darren, 48, of Oxford Road, Fleetwood, spent £18,000 in creating a unique funeral vehicle which paid tribute to his dad’s love of horse-racing.

Stuart’s body was carried in a coffin which was vinyl-wrapped in a colourful horse race scene, inside a glass and wooden panelled hearse cabinet, on top of a flat-back truck featuring artificial racing turf.

And the funeral cortege was a real show-stopper too, including a bagpipe player, two 1950s silver limousines and Darren’s own Delboy Trotter three-wheeler.

Darren, who runs a motorcycle transit company and an alternative Delboy-themed funeral business, Only Fools and Hearses, said: “My dad was a one-off. He always did things his own way and I wanted to send him off in style. Today is all about celebrating his life.”

My dad was a one-off. He always did things his own way and I wanted to send him off in style. Today is all about celebrating his life.

Divorced dad-of-one Stuart used to run S Abey Fish Merchants, based on the docks, which ran in conjunction with two small fishing boats. But his real love was horse racing, so Darren had the coffin made specially designed.

At the funeral service, Stuart’s coffin entered the crematorium not to music, but a recording of commentary from Grand National race course Aintree.

Music included The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers, and Frank Sinatra’s My Way.