The funeral of a popular man took place in Leek last week.
Hundreds of mourners stood outside in the church yard of St Edward's last Tuesday (June 10) as the church was already full for the funeral of Alan (Eggy) Embury.
Alan passed away at the age of 47 at Wythenshawe Hospital on Thursday, May 15.
He was the treasured son of Derek and Audrey, dearest son of the late Joan, much loved brother of Eric, Paul, John, Julie and Louise, a dear brother-in-law, uncle and nephew.
Reverend Nigel Irons conducted the funeral service, which was also aired, via speakers, to those standing outside the church.
Originally from Hanley, Alan lost his mother Joan when he was just nine-years-old. He and his father, Derek, moved to Leek when his father remarried to Audrey.
Alan attended Leek High School before starting out his working life at a petrol station and then started working in the advertising department at the Leek Post & Times.
He later worked at Britannia Building Society, co-ran his own business First Portfolio, and then worked at Leek United Building Society.
Alan enjoyed many sports from squash and tennis to pool and darts, travelled to many different countries throughout the world, and also sponsored a Ugandan girl through her education.
In his eulogy for Alan, older brother Paul Embury said of his younger brother's popularity: "Every time we were out together there was always another introduction.
"I am still known to many as Eggy's brother - not Paul.
"I will always be very proud to keep this title in Alan's memory."
John Stubbs, in his eulogy for Alan, which was read out by close friend Jason Reony, spoke of his younger brother's infectious laugh and outlook on life. He said: "Even in lesser times Egg could always manage a smile and take a positive stance, it's simply how he lived and saw life, it was there to be enjoyed and enjoy it he did.
"He had a quality which very few possess, everyone who was touched by him, like everyone here today, remembered him and were made to feel very special.
"He only ever saw good in people and he usually found it through his massive personality and of course that great big grin."
John added: "The depth of the man was incredible. He was very special and loved by all of us and we were all loved back.
"Every one of us here today has lost something very special and yes, it's a very sad, daunting thought, but let's not ever forget what he has given to us all.
"I take great comfort from imagining him looking down on us with that big daft grin, telling us that "we are where we are, so get on with it" and watching him burst out laughing."
In a letter from Alan's friend 'Big Dave', read out by Joanne Embury (Alan's niece and god daughter), he said: "Eggy was the nicest, most decent and generous bloke I ever met. He was my best friend.
"I feel lucky to have spent so much time with him and I am a better person for it. He had such an infectious love of life.
"He was always smiling, he tried to take as much out of life as he possibly could. "
Big Dave added: "I always had a great time with Eggy; he always made me smile and laugh. So many brilliant nights at gigs, at festivals, in the Bird in Hand or just sitting in his front room, nights where your face hurts from laughing so much.
"That is how I am going to remember Eggy, sitting there with a big grin on his face and that twinkle in his eye which meant you knew you were about to get one of his funny long winded stories."
Hymns sung at Alan's funeral included 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' and 'Jerusalem'. Alan's coffin was brought into the church with Paul Weller's Broken Stones playing, and then on leaving Elbow's One Day Like This was played. As the hearse and accompanying cars with family members inside, left the church, the congregation, in the region of 800 people, lined Church Street and applauded Alan.
A further 200 people congregated outside the now Co-operative Bank offices in Cheadle Road, Leek to pay their respects as the procession made it's way to Carmountside Crematorium.