Home News Hundreds at homeless UK man’s funeral
Hundreds at homeless UK man’s funeral | Print |
Written by Guardian-series.co.uk   

HUNDREDS of mourners turned out in the UK last week to pay their  respects to  a popular homeless Zimbabwean after fellow imbibers made a  whip round for his  funeral.

Regulars at two pubs frequented by Edward Kuwateedza, known as 'Fast  Eddy',  had been raising money to pay for his funeral since he died  following a stroke  last month.

Helena Gannon, 41, a friend of Eddy’s for over 15 years, said  drinkers at The  Crown and The Walnut Tree in Leytonstone High Road in  the London  Borough of Waltham Fores raised over £1,400 for the service  and for his  ashes to be shipped to relatives in back home Zimbabwe.

Until last year, Kuwateedza, 54, lived for 13 years in a garage  behind The  Crown, where he became “part of the family”, according to  former landlady Gannon.

When she moved on to run another pub, Kuwateedza became a regular at  the  Walnut Tree, where duty manager Billy Rowlands, 24, described him  as “one of  those characters.”

Gannon said her phone had been ringing off the hook since Kuwateedza  died  with people wanting to pay tribute to him and offer their  condolences.

“It shows the kind of person he was. I hope as many people as this fuss over  me,” she said.

She added that she was overwhelmed by the turn-out, with the  estimated  two-hundred mourners unable to fit into Manor Park  crematorium.

“I was shocked at how many people were there," Gannon added.

“Even though it was sad it was lovely. It would have been just what he  wanted.”

Mourners walked behind the coffin as it was paraded past The Crown and The Walnut  Tree before the service.

A wake was held at The Crown and Eddy’s favourite music was played.

Gonnan said: “We talked about all the times we had with him and it was  lovely.”

Kuwateedza was called ‘Fast Eddy’ because he would do odd jobs for people  quickly.

He came to the UK from Zimbabwe over 30 years ago to study accountancy.

After losing a job in a factory in 2007, he was made homeless and spent  years sleeping rough in the Leytonstone area.

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