The friends of a pub manager who died from cancer have raised thousands of pounds to fund a celebration of his life.

On Monday, hundreds of people are expected to pay their respects to Carlton ‘Mr Curly’ Holding, 53, who died on June 21.

Mr Holding was manager of The Queen's Head in Sandridge, and known for being reliable and for his dry sense of humour, friends took it upon themselves to raise £5,468 to fund a celebration of his life.

Tara Stoker, fundraising organiser, said: "Sadly we lost our dear friend Mr Curly to his battle against cancer, so we decided to raise money to give him the funeral and send-off he deserves."

Rev Kate Daymond, assistant curate at St Leonard’s Church, Sandridge, will lead a simple al-fresco service at 1pm before the funeral procession passes 200 yards down the High Street to the Sandridge Football Ground for a final farewell.

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Carlton Holding, pictured when he was a boy, died following a brave battle with cancer

David West, director of West & Sons Funerals, said: "Curly will be returning to his home, The Queen’s Head, for a small service then a procession through Sandridge, turning left from the Queen’s Head through the village and a right turn to the football club with everyone following on foot.

"West & Sons believes that every funeral is unique and designing the perfect send-off is the most respectful thing someone can do for a loved one. Curly had some priceless friends who are determined to celebrate his life and we are delighted to help them to do this."

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The Queen's Head in Sandridge. Credit: Google Street View

Current social distancing restrictions, in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus, mean a private cremation service will follow.

Ms Stoker added: "Friends and family will then be invited to raise a glass to Curly to celebrate his life at Sandridge Football Club.

"I would like to thank everyone who has donated money to help us give Curly the send-off he deserves."