More than 3,000 people from across the globe have paid their respects to much loved school teacher and ex-junior footballer David McIlroy.

The funeral of the former St Matthew’s, St Michael’s and Kilwinning Academy teacher was held last Thursday (January 7) at Saint Peter in Chains in Ardrossan after he contracted and died from coronavirus in December aged 69.

Due to restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, only 20 people could attend the mass.

But that did not stop people from paying their respects as the church livestreamed the funeral, which at time of writing had amassed over 3,400 views with people tuning in from across the world to watch.

After the mass at St Peter’s people gathered at either side of the road to clap the cortege as it went past while at Ardrossan Cemetery around 80-100 people waited on the hearse to arrive.

Father Duncan McVicar told the Herald: “With David’s funeral the great advantage was that we had the livestreaming because so many people wanted to tune in and if you look at the YouTube hits it is over 3,000. That is amazing and we have never had that for anyone.

“The church can hold 700 people and I am sure it would have been standing room only without restrictions.

“It shows you how massively regarded he was in the area. David was a very popular man, very respected teacher, a very loved friend and that came through very strongly in the eulogy that his friend Joe delivered. He gave a fantastic eulogy where he brought David to life and painted a very real picture of him with a bit of humour.

“The other nice thing was when we came out of the church there were people standing at both sides of the road and they were clapping as the cortege went past. I have not seen that for years. It was quite a sizeable crowd. They must have waited for over an hour.

“When we got to Ardrossan Cemetery for the final part of the ceremony there was also a good crowd around 80-100 waiting on the hearse coming.”

He added: “Technology cannot replace the real thing but on this occasion it allowed people thousands of miles away to take part.”