THIRTY ambulancemen and paramedics in full uniform provided the guard of honour at the funeral of their colleague Matthew King at Ilkley Parish Church on Friday.

Mr King, 37, of Ilkley, died at St James’s Hospital in Leeds after a long battle with illness. He leaves his partner, Marsella, and his 11-year-old daughter, Millie.

The ambulancemen and paramedics at his funeral represented ambulance stations in Menston, Keighley and Bradford.

His coffin bore his paramedic’s helmet along with family flowers, and six of his colleagues from Ilkley were pall bearers.

The church was packed, with many of the congregation having to stand.

Tributes were expressed by his daughter, Millie, by Colin Watson, on behalf of his old school friends, and Simon Mangeollis, on behalf of Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

In his eulogy, the Rev Richard Watson paid tribute to Mr King’s courage and determination in coping with three periods battling cancer that had been borne with dignity and perserverance.

The service was followed by interment at Ilkley Cemetery.

Mr King left Ilkley Grammar School in 1989, attended Leeds College of Building and then worked for local builders and building services at Bradford Council.

Before joining the ambulance service he was a volunteer first responder, responding to local emergencies and offering immediate first aid.

All donations in memory of Mr King will be sent to the Ward 97 Trust Fund at St James’s Hospital, which cared for Mr King during the past 18 months.