More than 200 people – including family members, friends and a handful of pop stars – have attended the low-key funeral of the “unlikely rock star” Reg Presley, frontman of The Troggs.
The former bricklayer turned singer, whose real name was Reginald Ball, died in his home town of Andover, Hampshire, on 4 February surrounded by his family.
Presley, 71, was the singer with the British group who scored a global hit with Wild Thing in 1966.
He had announced his retirement from music a year ago after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Among those attending the service at Basingstoke Crematorium were Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, Bruce Welch from The Shadows and Chip Taylor who wrote Wild Thing.
The service opened with Fields Of Gold by Sting with The Troggs’ other great hit Love Is All Around also being played.
The song was covered in the 1990s to huge success by Wet Wet Wet after it featured in the British film Four Weddings And A Funeral. The service was led by civil celebrant Lesley Nash, who described Presley’s life from his early career as a bricklayer, through his decades as an international rock star to his peaceful home life with his wife of more than 50 years, Brenda, their two children, Karen and Jason, and five grandchildren.
Mrs Nash said: “He was a brilliant and very supportive and loving dad to Jason and Karen who taught them you can do anything you put your mind to.”
She described how Presley met his wife-to-be at a dance in Andover.
She said: “That very first night Reg asked Brenda to marry him and was undaunted when she retorted, ‘But you don’t even know me’.
“He always said it was love at first sight and in the fullness of time proved he made an excellent choice.”