Simply the best tributes

The funeral of Mick Joyce in Denaby Main.

The funeral of Mick Joyce in Denaby Main.

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The tiny village church of St Albans in Denaby Main was packed to the rafters as people paid tribute to a man known as ‘Simply The Best’.

At the funeral of Mick Joyce a lone piper played a rendition of Flower of Scotland outside the church, in a nod to his Scottish heritage, as people entered and left the moving service.

Those unable to get into the packed church stood in silence outside and paid their own tributes to the popular boxing trainer who became a “father figure” to many and who died on May 19 at the age of 53.

A huge part of Dearne’s boxing community, Mick spent a month in a coma after he fell on steps and suffered head injuries near his girlfriend’s flat in Mexborough on April 22.

He regained consciousness, but suffered from internal bleeding and died at Rotherham General Hospital.

During the moving service Michael’s partner Jackie also gave an emotional verse to an “exceptional man” known to everyone as Mick.

She spoke at the service to tell of his charity work and how he would be missed.

Glyn Rhodes MBE, from Sheffield Boxing Centre, said he was shocked by Mick’s death and paid a personal tribute to a “well respected” man.

He said: “Everyone is shocked by this. Mick was a well liked person who spent a lot of time working with young kids in the area. The number of people who turned up at the funeral shows the high regard he was held in.”

Those attending the funeral included the former Commonwealth Games gold medalist and British champion Jon Jo Irwin and Conisbrough lightweight champion boxer Stefy Bull.

Glyn added: “Mick was a lovely person. He was far too young to go and will be sadly missed.”

After a welcome at church the hymn Amazing Grace was sung. An opening prayer was read followed by hymns O Lord My God and God Be With You Till We Meet Again, a gospel reading, prayers and a blessing before everyone went on to Rotherham Crematorium.