Joseph Edwards & Sons who have been arranging funerals in Staffordshire and Cheshire since 1882, were honoured to be chosen to arrange and conduct the funeral of Stoke City and England football legend Gordon Banks OBE.
They were also chosen to look after Sir Stanley Matthews back in 2000.
Andrew Edwards along with Robert Melville, James Byatt, Chris Percy and their team spent many hours preparing to make sure everything ran like clockwork once again.
The cortege started from the halfway line at The bet365 Stadium, where a large crowd had gathered as Banks’ football achievements were displayed on the big screens, amidst a ground and statue adorned with shirts, flags and other football memorabilia from around the world.
The date was the 47th anniversary of Stoke City’s 1972 League Cup win over Chelsea in which Banks played a vital role. Team mates from that match along with current Stoke players formed a guard of honour at Stoke Minister as the coffin was carried in by goalkeepers from his three former clubs: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), and Joe Anyon (Chesterfield) along with England’s Joe Hart.
The service began with time-honoured Cup Final hymn Abide With Me and closed with My Way, sung by Frank Sinatra. Tributes were made by Sir Geoff Hurst, Peter Coates, Don Mullan and Ms Wendy Banks.
Andrew Edwards said afterwards “there were thousands of people lining the near eleven mile route the funeral cortege made, taking in Longton and The Victoria Ground site before arriving at Stoke Minster one and a half hours after departing from the stadium, the people of Stoke on Trent really did their adopted son proud. The day itself followed a very similar format as Sir Stan’s funeral and again a who’s who of world football came to Stoke to pay their respects to a footballing icon”.
Andrew is the fourth generation of his family to oversee Joseph Edwards & Sons Funeral Directors and with their team of highly trained staff, no matter how simple or how elaborate a client’s requirements, you know that you can safely entrust things to this independent local community funeral company.