VIDEO: Doncaster Rovers players and fans pay tribute at former media man's funeral
Doncaster Rovers players and fans have come together to pay tribute to the club's former media manager and photographer Steve Uttley at his funeral this morning.
Hundreds of mourners packed into Barnsley Crematorium for the service to Mr Uttley, 58, who died earlier this month from a massive heart attack.
Among those paying their respects were former manager Brian Flynn who was joined by former players including Adam Lockwood, Sean McDaid, Jason Price, Jamie McCombe and Steve Lister.
Club officials and supporters also gathered and former assistant manager Mickey Walker was also in attendance, along with reporters and photographers from the local Press who worked alongside Mr Uttley during his 14 year career at Rovers charting the club’s rise from the Conference to the Championship on camera.
His fiancee of six years, Carol Smith led the tributes, describing the “magic moments” she and the Mexborough-born dad of three had shared since meeting while he was preparing to take part in a fundraising trek along the Inca Trail in Peru.
Mourners filed into the chapel to the strains of The Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset and two Queen tracks - Who Wants To Live Forever and The Show Must Go On - were also played during the moving service.
As well as tributes from Rovers, some mourners wore shirts of the club’s South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Mr Uttley, who lived in Mansfield, was a keen follower of the Hillsborough side and his children wore blue in tribute to their dad’s devotion to the Owls.
A floral owl - the club’s logo - was placed in front of Mr Uttley’s coffin which was topped with a picture of the keen photographer.
One mourner even donned a Wednesday shirt emblazoned with “Uttley 1” on the back while family members placed white roses on top of the coffin at the end of the service.
Tributes from Mr Uttley’s sister Anne and friend “Big” Steve Chadwick were also read to the chapel which was packed, with many mourners standing for the short, non-religious service.
The public service was followed by a private wake and mouners were urged to make donations to the British Heart Foundation and The Pleasley Pit Trust. He was a familiar face to thousands of Rovers supporters during 14 years at the club as official club photographer and media manager. Mr Uttley, who died on March 6, ran his own photography business and captured some of the most remarkable moments in the club’s history on camera including the League One play-off final victory over Leeds at Wembley in 2008, the Johnstone Paints Trophy win over Bristol Rovers at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2007 as well as Rovers’ run to the Carling Cup quarter finals in 2005. He was also part of the Doncaster Rovers team which conquered the Inca Trail in South America, joining players James Coppinger, James O’Connor and Mark Wilson for the gruelling expedition which raised thousands of pounds for charity. He left the club after a few years ago and had been working for League Two club Mansfield Town in a similar capacity. In his time at Rovers, he was charged with putting the matchday programme together, arranging interviews with players and managers and helping to promote the club both locally and nationally. He was also heavily involved in the production of Rovers World magazine, the publication produced by the club and the Doncaster Free Press during the club’s days in the Championship and was a staunch member of the National Union of Journalists. Fans staged an impromptu tribute to Mr Uttley at Rovers’ game against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park with supporters chanting his name during the 14th minute of the game - to mark his 14 years at the club. At last Saturday’s game against Peterborough United at the Keepmoat Stadium, fans staged a minute’s applause, players wore black armbands and Mr Uttley’s photo was displayed on the big screen prior to the match.