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Friday 25 July 2014

Low-key funeral for 'unlikely' star

Published 14/02/2013|18:11

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Mourners including Bruce Welch (centre) at the funeral of Reg Presley, singer of The Troggs who scored a global hit with Wild Thing
The order of service at the funeral of Troggs frontman Reg Presley, who died aged 71
The Hearse arrives at the funeral of Troggs frontman Reg Presley at Basingstoke Crematorium, Hampshire

More than 200 family and friends have attended the low-key funeral of the "unlikely rock star" Reg Presley - the frontman of British 60s band The Troggs.

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The former bricklayer turned singer died in his home town of Andover, Hampshire, on February 4 surrounded by his family.

Presley, 71, was the singer with the group who scored a global hit with Wild Thing in 1966. He had announced his retirement from music a year ago after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Among those attending the service at Basingstoke Crematorium were Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, Bruce Welch from The Shadows and Chip Taylor who wrote Wild Thing.

The service opened with Fields Of Gold by Sting with The Troggs' other great hit Love Is All Around also being played. The song was covered in the 90s to huge success by Wet Wet Wet after it featured in the British film Four Weddings And A Funeral.

The service was led by civil celebrant Lesley Nash who described Presley's life from his early career as a bricklayer, through his decades as an international rock star to his peaceful home life with his wife of more than 50 years, Brenda, their two children, Karen and Jason, and five grandchildren.

Mrs Nash said: "He was a brilliant and very supportive and loving dad to Jason and Karen who taught them you can do anything you put your mind to."

She described how Presley, real name Reginald Ball, was asked by his friends to join a band. She said: "He replied 'But I can't play an instrument'. 'You can play bass, you will learn' and that's exactly what Reg did."

During the service, Presley's grandson Guy read a poem called Empty Chair and Wild Thing was played at the end of the service.

Presley's family asked for donations to be made to The Stroke Association and The Countess of Brecknock Hospice Trust.

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