A FUNERAL service for Derek Lewin, among the most lustrous of amateur football’s golden age, was held at Charnock Richard, in Lancashire, on Tuesday.

He was a Lancashire lad, commuted with others to Bishop Auckland in the 1950s, in making the return journey had once wrapped around a lamp post the bright red Morgan sports car given him by his father.

Derek had been swerving to avoid a cat. “The welfare of the cat was more important than the car,” sad his daughter, in one of several family eulogies.

Though best remembered for his five goals in three successive Amateur Cup finals, 1955-57 and for his England appearances, it could never be said that Derek lived in the past.

How many other men of 88 were on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp? How many retained a capacity for mischief, or such twinkling toes?

He was also a captivating raconteur, only last November reminiscing at a function at Bishop Auckland’s ground – “he held them in the palm of his hand,” said Bishops’ director Terry Jackson.

We also learned that Derek had held a private pilot’s licence and flown a four-seat Cessna, had represented the Army at both cricket and football, played trombone in the school orchestra, could still work a tune on the sax and would occasionally dust down an old French horn. “Horrendous,” said his niece.

Music at the service ranged from Haydn’s Symphony No 4 to Leonard Cohen singing Hallelujah, from Frank Sinatra to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the 1956 Olympic hymn. Derek represented Great Britain.

As 100,000 others had done on those wonderful Wembley days in the 50s, we also sang Abide With Me.

Derek was a successful businessman, enthusiastic dog lover, much loved husband and father, had been president of Lancashire FA and for 15 years a member of the national FA Council.

“Wherever he is now,” said his grandson, “there’ll be a football at his feet.”