Pallbearer collapses and dies carrying coffin

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A pallbearer collapsed and died while carrying a coffin into church for a FUNERAL service.

Peter Manning, 75, slumped to the floor with a suspected heart attack at the funeral of villager Alan Whitehead, 86, at St Mary’s Church in Feltwell, Norfolk.

Paramedics rushed the retired farm worker to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where he later died.

Shocked Reverend Joan Horan described Mr Manning as appearing ‘absolutely fine’ shortly before he collapsed.

Rev Horan, of St George’s Church in Methwold, said: ”We are all very distressed in the parish. He was a lovely, genial man. It’s absolutely tragic.”

Mr Manning had worked as a pallbearer for 10 years since his retirement.

Funeral director Philip Bowers, of PR Bowers and Son funeral directors, said his death at around 12.50pm last Thursday was a ‘one in a million’ incident.

He said: ”He was a lovely old boy. He died doing the job he loved. He loved doing that old job. He was fitter than me.”

Another villager said: ”He is a real pillar of the community.”

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