Thousands of fans joined by golfing greats paid final respects to golf legend Seve Ballesteros in a simple, moving funeral in his home village in northern Spain on Wednesday.
To the sound of a piper, a cortege of Ballesteros' close family and friends walked with an urn from his family home perched over the sea in Predena to the little nearby church of San Pedro.
Big golfing names, including his close friend Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernard Gallacher, Sam Torrance, Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, joined the ceremony.
At the head of the procession, one of Ballesteros' sons carried the urn containing his father's ashes, which were to be scattered in his garden besides a magnolia he had chosen himself. Thousands of people gathered around the church to follow the funeral on three giant screens.
Ballesteros, who won five Majors in a pioneering career, died aged 54 in the early hours of Saturday following respiratory failure.
His death came three years after he underwent a series of operations to remove a brain tumour.
At the entrance to the village of Pedrena, nestled in the bay of Santander, hung a Spanish flag with the words “Gracias Seve” (Thank you Seve).
A little further another flag hung from a balcony with two golf clubs and a cap adorned with black ribbon.
Flags in the harbour flew at half-mast.
The funeral had been planned to be a simple village affair, “Just like any other neighbour's,” said one of Ballesteros' brothers, Baldomero. — AFP