ALTRINCHAM Crematorium was packed for the funeral of Sale amateur actor David Garner, 74, on Monday.

David was acting in Fondly Remembered, a play at Altrincham Little Theatre on September 30 when he collapsed in the interval.

He died the following day in Wythenshawe Hospital with his family around him.

He will be fondly remembered by his family and friends from Altrincham Little Theatre and the Manchester Athenaeum Dramatic Society, where he took many parts.

Meg Cooper, press officer at Altrincham Little Theatre, said: “If he wasn’t acting, he would help front of house, immaculately dressed in dinner jacket and bow tie, selling programmes or serving coffee.”

He met his wife Joy in 1963 through a YMCA drama group and they married in 1965. They had two boys, Nick and Ben.

David retired four years ago from Allied Dumbar, later Zurich Insurance.

His sister, Sally said that although David departed this life unexpectedly, he arrived unexpectedly, too.

She said: “Mum was recovering from the birth of our sister, Liz when David suddenly made an appearance.”

His son, Ben, a former dancer with the English Youth Ballet, told how his dad ran him and his brother to activities and helped with homework.

Nick, a sales manager said how David went to see Ben dancing in the West End and gave a moving speech at his civil partnership in 2012.

He told a funny story about his dad walking his dog in Whalley Range. A prostitute asked if he would like to have a good time, to which David replied, “What do I do with the dog?”

A collection raising over £1,200 will go towards a Defibrillator Unit at Altrincham Little Theatre.