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Hundreds say goodbye to Sheffield Wednesday legend Johnny Fantham

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Family members, former teammates and football supporters came together to say goodbye to one of Sheffield Wednesday’s greatest players.

It was standing room only as hundreds of people attended the funeral of Owls legend Johnny Fantham at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium yesterday afternoon.

Johnny, who was originally from Pitsmoor, died last month at the age of 75 after a long illness.

The inside forward played for Wednesday for 13 years between 1956 and 1969, scoring 166 goals in 434 appearances.

He is the club’s second-highest goalscorer of all time and was a key part of the team that lifted the Second Division title in 1959 and finished runners-up to Spurs in the top flight two years later.

He also played for Wednesday in the FA Cup final in 1966 and had one international cap for England, as well as representing the country at Under-23 level.

Following his time at Hillsborough, Johnny also played for Rotherham and Macclesfield before retiring in 1972.

His packed funeral service included the hymn Abide With Me, which is closely connected with football and played before every FA Cup Final.

Among those in attendance were former teammates including Peter Swan and David Layne.

Minister Jack Dearden, who led the service, said Johnny had been a ‘legend in Sheffield’.

“He is special to his family, his friends, and to the city and his club as well,” he said.

“He was much loved, very well thought of and respected. He was a gentleman on the pitch and off the pitch.”

He added Johnny had been proud to share a room with Bobby Moore while on England duty.

Mr Dearden said he had also been a talented cricketer and golfer, holding the club record at Beauchief golf course in Sheffield for several years.

He added that Johnny had also been a devoted family man, meeting wife Carole at Nether Edge dance hall in their youth.

The pair, who had two daughters and two granddaughters, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year.

Johnny fell ill around seven years ago and spent the final years of his life at Fulwood Lodge Nursing Home on Fulwood Road.

As mourners left the service, another song closely associated with football, You’ll Never Walk Alone, was played.

Mr Dearden said: “He lived a very full and active life when he was well. He put a lot into his life and he was a giver, not a taker.”

 

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