They came to send off a stranger - and they came in their hundreds. Today mourners attended the burial of James MConnell who died of a chest infection. The former Royal Marine had no family and faced a lonely burial - that was until the local vicar sent out a Facebook plea.
Word spread around the armed forces community and - as Sally Simmonds reports - the 70 year old from Southsea wasn't let down.
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Tuesday's weather for the east of the region
Tuesday's weather for the west of the region
"Calls and emails are coming in all the time" from players who say they had been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, it is claimed.