Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 17:36 UK

Hundreds gather at Hendry funeral

Denise Hendry funeral procession
The white coffin was carried to the church in a horse-drawn carraige

Scottish flags flew at half mast as hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of the wife of former Scotland footballer Colin Hendry.

A band of Highland pipers led a cortege through Lytham St Annes, the adopted home of Denise Hendry and her family.

The mother-of-four died last week in hospital, seven years after a botched liposuction operation. She was 43.

Mrs Hendry, originally from Dundee, was laid to rest after the service at St Cuthbert's Parish Church.

Up to 700 people packed the church to pay their respects, including several from the world of football.

I will always miss you and never forget you
Colin Hendry

They included Liverpool and Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish, who managed the central defender to the league title at Blackburn Rovers.

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown, former Blackburn boss Don Mackay and Preston manager Alan Irvine also attended.

Earlier, a horse-drawn white carriage formed the hearse, and the white coffin was carried into the church to the strains of Rod Stewart's Purple Heather.

Mr Hendry, 43, and his children Rheagan, 19, Kyle, 18, Callum, 10, and Niamh, nine, all spoke at the thanksgiving service.

The former Scotland captain told the congregation that he and Denise knew they were a perfect match soon after meeting in Dundee 25 years ago.

Kenny Dalglish
Former Blackburn manager Kenny Dalglish was among the mourners

"Through our lives in football we were blessed with a very rich and pleasant life, but one we have never taken for granted," said Mr Hendry.

"With our children, 22 years of marriage, 25 years of knowing each other, we had some amazing times full of joy, laughter and celebration.

"Denise you are the most beautiful person. It was the greatest honour in life to be your best friend and husband.

"I will always miss you and never forget you."

Kyle, who is on the books of Blackburn Rovers, also paid tribute to his mother.

He said: "She was so strong for us all, she was beautiful and determined, and always there for me. She was the perfect mum."

'Priceless memories'

Floral tributes were sent by the players, management and staff of two of Colin Hendry's former clubs.

His bouquet of blue flowers spelt out Plum, his wife's nickname.

The card attached read: "You are the shining light in my life and always will be. Such an honour and privilege to be your husband and best friend. The memories are priceless. Till we meet in heaven. Love always Xx."

Colin Hendry puts his arm around son Callum
Colin Hendry described his wife as the "shining light" in his life

All mourners were asked to sport a blue ribbon to support the Meningitis Trust Foundation charity.

It was revealed earlier this week that the surgeon who performed cosmetic surgery on Mrs Hendry is now working at a clinic in his native Sweden.

Lawyers secured a six-figure damages settlement in November 2006, while Dr Gustav Aniansson voluntarily applied to be removed from the General Medical Council's register in the UK three years earlier.

Mrs Hendry needed treatment for septicaemia at Royal Preston Hospital days after a bungled operation. Her heart also stopped for four minutes as she suffered a cardiac arrest.

She suffered nine punctures to her bowel and colon, causing blood poisoning and multiple organ failure, and needed a 16-hour operation at Salford Royal in May as part of a long recovery process.

She died on 10 July after spending 12 weeks in intensive care.

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