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City’s beloved former Life President, Bernard sadly passed away, aged 77, on 26 March 2019. Family, friends, colleagues and fans met at St Mary’s RC in Failsworth on Wednesday 10 April to celebrate his life and share memories.
The church service was preceded by the cortege visiting the Etihad Stadium, where staff and fans stood to remember their much-loved and highly-regarded colleague and friend.
Bernard’s coffin was draped in sky blue, adorned with lilies and photographs – one personal favourite in which he is seen lifting the FA Cup aloft at Wembley Stadium in 2011.
Current City managers Pep Guardiola and Nick Cushing were in attendance, as well as former bosses Mark Hughes, Peter Reid and Tony Book.
All-time greats Colin Bell, Francis Lee, Club Ambassador Mike Summerbee and Captain Vincent Kompany also paid their respects, as did ex-City players Micah Richards, Joe Hart, Paul Dickov, Shaun Goater, Paul Walsh, Richard Edghill, Paul Lake, Shay Given, Michael Brown, Ian and David Brightwell, Joey Barton, Alex Williams MBE, Andy Dibble, Colin Hendry, Brian Horton, Dennis Tueart, Dave Watson, Peter Barnes, Joe Corrigan, Frank Carrodus, Johnny Williamson, Steve Fleet, Joleon Lescott and Kolo Toure.
Other key sporting figures included former United chief Sir Alex Ferguson, current City coach Brian Kidd, senior City Club officials and members of the former players’ and supporters’ associations. Actor and City fan John Henshaw also attended.
A service was held, true to Bernard’s faith, and featured his favourite hymns, prayers and songs.
There were readings from loved ones, including members of his family, and close friend and colleague Des Coffey. Bernard was fondly recalled as a ‘gentle giant’, ‘a good and kind friend’ and ‘respectful to all.’
In recollection, stories of Bernard’s life at City, which spanned almost half a century, were shared to a backdrop of tears and laughter.
Known as ‘Mr Manchester City’, Bernard worked closely in establishing the Club’s famed Academy and became a pillar in the community for his efforts off-the-pitch.
His knowledge and ceaseless commitment saw him become a significant figure within Manchester’s grassroots football scene, particularly with the Manchester FA. Former Academy chief Jim Cassell was in attendance.
A lifelong City supporter, Bernard began his devoted association with the Club as Club Secretary before being named Life President in 2010.
The last song of the service had been requested by Bernard: ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole – chosen not to deem himself ‘unforgettable’, but his loved ones instead.
Bernard Halford: always thinking of others.
Rest in peace.
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