Limavady ground to a standstill yesterday morning as around 700 gathered for the funeral of Kabul suicide attack victim Simon Chase.
Simon Chase, originally from Liverpool, had been living in Limavady for the past 20 years. He had two sons with his fiancee, Norma McDowell, with whom he shared a home.
A lone piper lead several hundred mourners into Christ Church for a thanksgiving service for the life of Simon Chase.
Family and friends wore ribbons - in the colour of his beloved Everton - with the word ‘Si’ emblazoned.
As a number of businesses around the town closed as a mark of respect, the United Services Club flew their flag at half mast.
Mr Chase’s former Cheshire Regiment comrades were amongst the mourners. One of Simon Chase’s colleagues in Afghanistan, Phil Currell, gave a fitting eulogy during the service. Anita Sprole read a poem to remember Simon.
Mr Chase, who was well-known and respected around Limavady, is thought to have lost his life trying to protect a Danish police woman who had been in Afghanistan on behalf of the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, a Book of Condolences was opened at Limavady Borough Council, after a meeting between councillors, and has already gained dozens of signatures.
The Union Flag was also flown at half-mast at the Limavady War Memorial last Saturday (January 18) as a mark of respect to Simon Chase, or ‘Si’ as he was sometimes known to those close to him.
Local councillor Alan Robinson said: “The work carried out by security personnel in Afghanistan is incredibly brave and I want to pay tribute to their dedication in a hostile environment.”