Lancashire Farriers each made a horseshoe to attach to William Simpson’s coffin to commemorate the life of a dedicated colleague.
Father-of-two William died just before Christmas aged just 58 after a short battle with cancer.
More than 500 people turned up at his funeral in Barrowford, where there was a horse-drawn carriage, and more than £4,000 was donated to Pendleside Hospice.
William was born in Warrington in 1957 and was adopted by Norman and Eva Simpson at six weeks old and, from then on, lived in Roughlee, brought up on Thorneyholme Farm and training as a farrier before taking over the farm from his father when Norman retired.
“William trained as a farrier after leaving Primet High School in Colne,” said his wife Margaret, who he married in 1978 after meeting at the Four Alls Inn in Higham.
“He started his own business shoeing horses and loved his work and his family and we had two children, Thomas and Julie.”
He was a cheeky chap and worked hard. He loved his job and his children and his customers turned into friendsWife
“He took over the farm from his dad when Norman retired and began showing and selling young sheep.
“He was very proud of this and enjoyed it but the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth disease stopped it.”
Instead William turned his attention to horses.
“He bought a young colt, six months old, who we named Chiko and he started showing it. He won the Young Stock Champion at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2008 and he was extremely proud of that.
“He began breeding young stock and he was proud and devoted to this and his family life.
“He was a cheeky chap and worked hard. He loved his job and his children and his customers turned into friends.”
William, who has a brother Steven who was also adopted, was working on the Saturday before he was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.
“It was all sudden, he was working on the Saturday but was in pain and was admitted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital,” added Margaret.
“He was told he had four to five months to live and never moaned or complained.
“He got to go to his grand-daughter Darcy’s christening on the Sunday, the daughter of Thomas and Charlotte, and was admitted to Pendleside Hospice the following day and died the following Saturday within six weeks of being diagnosed.
“It was all very sudden especially as he was a big, fit man but the 500 people at his funeral showed how popular he was.
“He had talked about his funeral and didn’t want a horse and carriage as, typical farmer, he said it was a waste of money but I went along with it anyway.
“The horseshoes on William’s coffin were handcrafted by the Lancashire Farriers which shows how much he meant to everyone.”