HUNDREDS of people turned out to bid a fond farewell to a Deeside factory worker whose body was found almost a year after he had disappeared.
Family and friends, many wearing football shirts and scarves at the request of the family, gathered at the Pentrebychan Crematorium in Wrexham for the funeral of Michael Murphy, 32, from Connah’s Quay.
His funeral was held on Friday, exactly a year to the day that he was last seen.
His family described him as loving person who touched the lives of many people, including his family, friends and colleagues at the Convatec factory on Deeside Industrial Park.
At the funeral ceremony, the congregation heard how Mr Murphy had a competitive spirit and enjoyed playing football and when he was younger, taking part in cross country.
He was described as a big Arsenal fan and would also encourage his younger brother and sister to take part in sports.
His mother Ann, 57, paid tribute to her “gorgeous son” and also thanked those who helped to search for him.
She said: “A year ago Michael went missing and our lives were turned upside down.
“The search teams went out looking for him in terrible conditions and our upmost admiration goes out to them.
“In the past year I’ve been comforted to hear how many people’s lives he touched. We will miss him.”
Mr Murphy’s brother Jac, 23, said: “I can never fully express how upset I am that I will never see Mike again.
“To me and Jo he was more like a father figure and all I ever wanted was to make him proud.”
His sister Joanna, 22, said: “It still doesn’t feel right that we’re all here today saying goodbye to him.”
His grandfather, Len, told stories of Mr Murphy’s mischievousness as a youngster and called him “a human dynamo”.
Following the eulogy, You’ll Never Walk Alone was played over the speakers as family and friends left the crematorium.
Members of the North East Wales Search and Rescue (NEWSAR) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) who searched the River Dee for clues relating to Mr Murphy’s disappearance also attended and donations were made to both organisations as people left.
A gathering was later held at the Centenary Club at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.
Mr Murphy was last seen leaving the Convatec factory on Deeside Industrial Park on Wednesday, January 4 last year.
He had clocked on for his early morning shift and made a cup of tea before leaving unannounced.
His body was discovered on the coastline at West Kirby, Wirral, on December 4.
An inquest has been opened and adjourned to a date to be fixed.