'A good man, a great man, a lovely guy'

Hundreds of mourners turned out yesterday to pay their last respects to a popular fitness instructor who was killed in a car crash.

Hundreds gather for the funeral of popular fitness instructor Peter Tullin

Hundreds of mourners turned out yesterday to pay their last respects to a popular fitness instructor who was killed in a car crash.

Peter Tullin, 35, was known throughout Prudhoe, Northumberland, where he worked at the town's Waterworld fitness centre, and was described by his family as "one of the nicest people you could meet".

He died driving back to his home in Northumbria Walk, Westerhope, Newcastle, from a night out with friends in Prudhoe last Wednesday when he lost control of his car on the Ovingham Road, just outside Wylam.

His Honda Civic veered into a stone wall before careering across the road, crashing into a wooden fence on the banks of the river and tumbling 30ft down a grassy slope, landing on its roof in the water at about 11.30pm.

Such was his popularity that hundreds of friends and relatives queued outside the West Road Crematorium in Newcastle, and many could not get inside.

Methodist minister Tom Leighton, of Prudhoe, led the congregation and described Mr Tullin as "a good man, a great man, a lovely guy".

He told the congregation Mr Tullin was a "truly special man who had bettered the lives of all those who had known him".

He said Mr Tullin was very close to his twin sister, Pat, and their mother, also Pat, 66, who he had looked after at his home for the last year following the death of her husband.

After telling the gathered mourners a little about Mr Tullin, he asked them to join in a round of applause to celebrate his life. Mr Tullin got a standing ovation.

At the end of the service the Gnarls Barkley chart hit Crazy rang out as sobbing friends and family left the crematorium to pay their last respects to Mr Tullin in the Garden of Remembrance.

His mother and close family gathered around large floral wreathes which spelled out the words `Brother' and `Pepsi' - his nickname by which everyone at Waterworld knew him.

Mr Tullin's twin sister Pat Jamieson, 35, a nurse of Whitley Bay, said her brother was known by almost everyone in Prudhoe, where he had worked for 16 years.

She said: "He was always happy, nothing got him down."

Prudhoe Waterworld was closed yesterday for the funeral.

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