South East Wales

Thousands say goodbye at Stuart Cable's funeral

Thousands of fans of late rock drummer Stuart Cable have lined the streets leading to the church for his funeral.

Roads were closed in Aberdare, south Wales, to allow a horse-drawn carriage to reach St Elvan's Church, where a private service was held.

Among the mourners were members of Cable's old band the Stereophonics, Rob Brydon, Rhys Ifans, Max Boyce and stars from the MTV show Dirty Sanchez.

Cable, aged 40, was found dead at his home in Llwydcoed on Monday, 7 June.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the route and applauded as Cable's coffin was taken to the church in a horse-drawn carriage.

Four black Welsh cobs with black plumes on their head were led into the church yard where the dark wood coffin, decorated with a silver lightning bolt, was later carried into the church.

The service, which was broadcast by loudspeaker, began with the Welsh hymn Calon Lan and was followed by several rock songs.

Ear splitting music was played live inside the church by a favourite band of Cable's called High Voltage.

The band was among a handful of guests, which included a male voice choir, invited to perform and pay tribute.

Image caption Cable forged a career in presenting after leaving the Stereophonics

Musician friends who had grown up with Cable performed the AC/DC song Let There Be Rock.

During the service Gwyn Davies, a long-time friend, former neighbour and one-time judo instructor to Cable, paid tribute.

"I would like to say that he was my best friend but he was many people's best friend," he said.

"People are not here today because of his celebrity they are here because they want to say goodbye to a nice, normal bloke."

He said Cable had been a proud Welshman who had tried to learn the Welsh language but had spent more time making people laugh in the classes he attended.

Among the phrases he did learn, he said, was the Welsh translation of baked beans.

Paul Cable, his older brother, concluded the service by calling for the church bells to ring out.

"My brother had a bell in every tooth and he is going out with eight bells ringing like the clappers," he said.

The coffin was carried out to a waiting motorised hearse with glass sides to the sound of AC/DC's Back in Black, played by High Voltage.

Kelly Jones, as he filed out between Rhys Ifans and Rob Brydon, said: "No one else could get a send-off like that.

"It's hard to walk out crying when they are playing Back in Black."

The hearse was then led away for a private service at Llwydcoed Crematorium.

Up to 30 leather-clad bikers with the Valley Commandos gang, with whom Cable used to regularly ride, were expected to escort the hearse over its brief final route.

Image caption Sterophonics singer Kelly Jones arriving at Stuart Cable's funeral

One mourner said: "I'm originally from Cwmaman myself and I felt that Stuart has put Cwmaman on the map.

"We're very proud of his achievements, and it's a very sad day today for Cwmaman and Stuart's family."

Many mourners had personal memories of Cable, and described him as someone who had inspired them.

Donations

Cable, who left Stereophonics in 2003, went on to forge a career as a TV and radio presenter and had set up a new band called Killing For Company.

Police have said it may take weeks before the cause of the drummer's death is established.

A post mortem examination was carried out at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, following his death.

But South Wales Police said the cause of death will not be known until toxicology tests are completed.

Officers previously said they were not speculating on the cause of death but there were no suspicious circumstances.

There are family flowers only at the funeral with well-wishers asked to make donations instead in his memory to the Stuart Cable Charity Organisation.

The council had asked people to avoid the town centre unless it was essential due to the numbers of people expected.

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