Hundreds at Abbey for funeral of ex-MP and millionaire businessman

PUBLISHED: 12:33 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

The Rev Martin King (left) and the Dean of St Albans Dr Jeffrey John

The Rev Martin King (left) and the Dean of St Albans Dr Jeffrey John

HUNDREDS of mourners packed St Albans Abbey for the funeral of millionaire former MP and St Albans district councillor David Evans. Some 700 people including ex-Tory deputy leader Cecil Parkinson, Luton Town FC manager Mick Harford and current Welwyn-Hatf

Cricket ball tribute to David Evans

HUNDREDS of mourners packed St Albans Abbey for the funeral of millionaire former MP and St Albans district councillor David Evans.

Some 700 people including ex-Tory deputy leader Cecil Parkinson, Luton Town FC manager Mick Harford and current Welwyn-Hatfield MP Grant Shapps were at Monday's funeral.

The hour-long service was led by the Rev Martin King, curate of St Helen's Parish Church in Wheathampstead. Mr Evans with his wife Janice and their family lived in nearby Mackerye End.

Mr Evans' children, Amanda, Gary and Christopher, paid tribute to their father, before the family moved onto St Helen's church for a private burial.

Amanda described her father as a people's person and a family man: "He achieved so much in his life through sports, politics and business," she said. "He was our rock and was always there for us. We will miss him very much."

Mr Shapps said the service was both beautiful and touching and described Mr Evans as, "exceptionally successful in a lot of different areas of life".

He added: "He didn't let party politics come between him and his constituents.

"He didn't care whom he helped, he was passionate about people."

The son of a postman who was born in Enfield in 1935, Mr Evans was a talented sportsman in his youth, representing both Warwickshire and Gloucestershire at cricket and playing football for Aston Villa.

In 1960, Mr Evans and his wife founded a cleaning company called Exclusive Office Cleaning, which tapped into the contracting out of local refuse services which was spearheaded by the Conservative Party.

By 1982 the company was known as Brengreen Holdings and employed 30,000 workers. Four years later Mr Evans sold the company for £32 million.

He joined the Conservative Party in 1968, going on to become both a Wheathampstead parish and St Albans district councillor before being elected as Welwyn-Hatfield MP from 1987 to 1997.

He was also chairman of Luton Town FC between 1984 and 1989, during which time he famously banned away fans from Kenilworth Road in an attempt to stamp out the scourge of hooliganism.

Mr Evans had flown to the USA for treatment for lung fibrosis when he died on October 21, aged 73, with his family at his bedside.

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