Covid: Funeral for 'hero' paramedic who died with virus

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image captionTony Chadbourne worked for East Midlands Ambulance Service for more than 20 years

A funeral has been held for a "hero" paramedic who died after contracting coronavirus.

Tony Chadbourne, known as Chad, died with the virus just before Christmas.

The 46-year-old worked for East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) in the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Divisions for 23 years.

His funeral took place in Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, with a procession through the town and colleagues holding a minute's silence at the same time.

'An NHS hero'

EMAS said Mr Chadbourne is their only paramedic - and staff member - known to have died with Covid-19.

His colleagues observed a minute's silence wherever they were, to coincide with the start of the funeral service at St Mary Magdalene church.

Members of the public were invited to do the same.

Mr Chadbourne's family have described him as "an NHS hero" who had three major loves in his life - his family and friends, watching Nottingham Forest and England play football, and his role as a paramedic.

image captionA group gathered outside Keyworth United Football Club to applaud as the procession passed by

Ahead of the service, a funeral procession went through Keyworth, past the main square and paused at Keyworth United Football Club, where Mr Chadbourne was a former player.

People along the route were encouraged to wear something red, white or green as a nod to his love of Nottingham Forest and the ambulance service.

His life was celebrated by the club on Wednesday night before their game against Middlesbrough, with the players wearing warm-up T-shirts featuring his picture.

media captionFootballers applaud paramedic Tony Chadbourne

A tribute also featured in the matchday programme and a minute's applause took place before Forest's defeat at the City Ground.

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The club said Mr Chadbourne first attended a match in 1980 and helped save the life of Clive Clarke in 2007 after he collapsed in the dressing room.

Twenty people attended the funeral service, with 30 allowed under current coronavirus restrictions.

An EMAS spokesperson said: "Unfortunately, due to current restrictions, we will not be able to mark the day as we would have liked to."

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