AN emotional farewell to a much-loved man took place as grandfather Chris Coalgate was laid to rest.

Victim of a hit and run driver in December, the much missed husband, father and grandfather’s funeral was held at a packed Poole Crematorium.

“This service is not about events but about a man,” said the Rev John Taylor, who conducted the service.

“A man who was and who always will be irreplaceable because he was loved so much. And he loved so much in return.”

Tributes were paid during the service, at which there was standing room only, by Oakdale Conservative Club, where the 69-year-old was heading on that fatal evening.

He was found seriously injured at the junction of Darby’s Lane and Heath Avenue at 7.25pm on Friday December 13. And despite heartfelt pleas from his distraught family, the driver has not been caught.

Wife Freda and daughters Rachael Hayward and Natasha Mutton contributed to a eulogy about the retired welder who had served in the Royal Naval Reserve, had survived brain damage and a broken back and had ankylosing spondylitis.

The many talents and interests of the keen Arsenal fan whose frequently uttered, “Ever such a nice man” became family folk-lore, brought laughter as well as tears to family and friends mourning his loss.

“He was brilliant at making things,” contributed daughter Natasha.

“He would have a go at anything.”

His dog Prince was a constant companion and they would go to the pub together for a drink.

“He has always been there for us and supported us throughout our lives,” contributed daughter Rachel.

“He was popular, a friend to many and loved by his family.”

Prayers were said for a resolution to the family’s pain and for their pleas for anyone with information to contact the police to be answered.