Tributes to dad 'taken too soon'

A FATHER-OF-TWO found dead outside his pub was said to have "enough friends to fill a football stadium but not enough enemies to fill a phone box" at an emotional funeral yesterday.

Steven Curran, 47, was discovered lying behind the Dolphin Inn at Whitecraig, East Lothian, at around 2am on Thursday, October 23.

A police investigation concluded he had been murdered.

Yesterday, mourners packed Mortonhall Crematorium's main chapel to pay their respects to a man who was "taken too soon". There were no empty seats and many had to stand as the service began.

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Mr Curran's wife Jill and their two daughters Abbie, 13, and Lucy, six, brought a red rose to say goodbye to their beloved husband and dad.

The service was led by minister Elspeth Clark who said that Steven had lived a full life and had many friends.

She added that the most important thing in his life was his family.

During the service Wonderwall by Oasis was played, a song which was said to have had a special significance to Steven and his daughter Abbie.

Daughter Lucy also said goodbye to her dad in front of all of his friends and family.

She said: "Me and Abbie will love you for as long as we live."

Steven's best friend, also called Steven, paid tribute to his best pal. He said: "Marrying Jill was the best thing you ever did and you often told me that.

"I will miss you. Now I'll have an empty seat next to me at Tynecastle. Goodbye big man."

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Ms Clark added: "Let's treasure the memories that he has left behind instead of closing our eyes and wishing he was still here."

Ms Clark said that the one thing he never got over was the death of his mum in 2007.

Steven had three older sisters and was described by them as "mischievous and loving".

A card from his family read: "Steve, there is a huge part of our life gone, you will be sorely missed."

The Hearts anthem was played at the end of the service as he regularly went to games at Tynecastle.

A wake was to be held at Liberton Golf Club.

A huge police investigation swung into place following the discovery of the publican's death.

A local man has since been charged with the murder.

Lee McNamara, 23, appeared on petition at Haddington Sheriff Court and is also charged with the theft of a car.