A CHURCH was packed to overflowing for the funeral of legendary Reds fan ‘Jacko’.

There were seats outside at St David’s in Froncysyllte yesterday afternoon where mourners gathered to pay their respects to Thomas Ian Roberts, of Acrefair, who died at the age of 55.

Hundreds turned out to bid a fond farewell to the dedicated Wrexham AFC fan and Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir member, who lost a battle against throat cancer on October 6.

Speaking at the service friend ‘Griff’ – Ian Griffiths – paid a moving tribute.

Describing Jacko as “a proud, passionate Welshman”, he added: “Everybody knew Jacko and if you didn’t you’d almost certainly heard of him. [He was] one of life’s true characters, with his infectious smile and fun-loving attitude, he was always great company, well respected and loved.

“He loved having a crack, be it with family, friends and members of the choir or at the football. He had a great sense of humour.

“Much has been said about Jacko in the local press and on social media – he has been described as Wrexham’s biggest fan, the King of the Kop. And who is to argue with those bold statements?

“Some fans may have been to more games, or raised more money, or given more time to the club, but there was no one louder and prouder to say ‘I am a Wrexham fan’.

“Like a stick of rock, if he was cut in half he would have Wrexham running right through him.

Jacko leaves behind Dawn Addis, his partner of 24 years, and their 15-year-old son Tom, his half-sister Tanya, half-brothers Eifion and Daryl, stepsister Vicky and mother Margery.

The Rev Matt Wilkinson, who officiated, said: “Ian was the first to hold Tom and ever since they were very close, Ian taking him to water polo every week, enjoying camping trips together and even taking Tom to Wembley to see his beloved Wrexham play.

“We give thanks for his love of football – I was told Ian was a fan since he was 13. At that time he would collect the cash in pop bottles so he could get the bus fare to go.”

He added: “We also give thanks for Ian’s love of singing – especially his membership of the Fron Choir. Ian joined when he was 27 and travelled with them all over the world to sing – places such as America, Canada, Spain, Greece and Germany.

“Ian sang when the choir won the Eisteddfod and always liked to help there with the stewarding when he could.

“Highlights include singing with Pavarotti, Alfie Boe, Katherine Jenkins and even the Go Compare man.”

The male voice choir gave two performances at the service – Bring Him Home and Calon Lan.

Donations were collected for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Jacko was buried in the churchyard following the funeral service.