Dozens of cars take part in funeral procession for Tommy Sharp

Dozens of cars took part in a funeral procession for dad Tommy Sharp who died following a police pursuit.

At least five silver Rolls-Royce cars followed a white horse-drawn carriage which took Tommy through the streets of Manchester and Salford earlier today (Tuesday).

Dozens of other vehicles joined in the procession behind the luxury cars, with many displaying pictures of the 29-year-old on their car doors and windows.

The cars followed Tommy Sharp’s horse-drawn carriage

Scores of drivers also paid tribute to Tommy, nicknamed ‘Mush’, by attaching registration plates to their cars which read ‘R MUSH’.

The married father-of-two from Salford was taken to the Our Lady and the Apostles Parish Church in Edgeley, Stockport, in a horse-drawn carrriage.

Residents who live near the church told the M.E.N that ‘loads of people’ turned up to the funeral to pay their respects to Tommy.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “A white horse and carriage pulled up and there was a big truck behind with all the wreaths in it.

Tributes to Tommy printed on the door of a vehicle

“It was a big funeral with loads of people here.

“I think they were allowed a few people inside but then the rest of them watched it outside on a big screen.

“Police officers were here on motorbikes, they were making sure everyone was stood on the other side of the road.

“The traffic was quite bad and no one could get down here because of all the cars.”

The procession drove through Salford, Manchester and then to a church in Stockport

Another neighbour said she heard ‘lots of cars beeping their horns’.

Tommy’s niece said her uncle had a ‘send off fit for a king’.

She told the M.E.N: “Our hearts are broken over my uncle.

“He was the baby of the family and was always there for his wife, children and family.

“My uncle’s funeral was a send off fit for a king.”

A spokesperson from Greater Manchester Police said the force co-operated with the family to make sure they could pay their respects ‘in as safe an environment as possible’.

In a statement, the spokesperson said: “Police are aware of the large funeral ceremony and gathering that took place today in Shaw Heath, Stockport.

“Through close partnership work with the local authority and the funeral directors, neighbourhood officers were able to sensitively and respectfully co-operate with the family of the deceased, ensuring those paying their respects could do so in as safe an environment as possible.

Superintendent Marcus Noden of GMP’s Stockport District, said: “We understand and respect the importance of allowing this family and the community to grieve for their loved one.

“We have worked closely with partners in the local area to ensure this group were able to join together in a safe environment, whilst trying to minimise any disruption to those in the vicinity.

A variety of supercars took part in the procession

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public of the importance of observing the guidelines and regulations in relation to gatherings and we would like to express our thanks and gratitude to all those who have played their part during this extremely difficult time.”

Last night, ‘about a hundred’ mourners gathered in a huge marquee erected on rough ground in Miles Platting at an event to honour Tommy.

Drivers were seen revving a variety of supercars, including a Lamborghini and a soft-top Rolls Royce, up and down Oldham Road.

One of the cars had a picture of Tommy on the door as well as the words ‘no 1 Tommy Sharp’.

‘Film star’. A huge floral tribute is taken into the event

Floral tributes which spelled out ‘film star’ were also seen being carried from vans into the event.

Mourners could be seen drinking and a fire was lit outside the marquee, which was erected on a parcel of rough ground beside Bulldog Metals Ltd.

A police Tactical Aid Unit van was stationed nearby during the early evening but moved away later.

Under current coronavirus rules, the maximum number of people allowed at a funeral is 30.

A Rolls Royce with a picture of Tommy Sharp on the side, and the marquee in the background

Inquests into the deaths of Tommy Sharp and Paddy Connors, 36, were opened and adjourned last week.

Paddy also lost his life when a car he and Tommy were in crashed into two other cars on Frederick Road, Salford, following a short police pursuit.

The pair were in a Mercedes C class car at the time, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

The police watchdog is now investigating.

In an update into the tragedy last week, the IOPC said initial enquiries have shown an unmarked police car – an Audi – activated its emergency lights and siren to signal to the Mercedes to stop.

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Following a short pursuit, which lasted less than a minute along Lower Broughton Street and Frederick Road, the Mercedes collided with two cars, both Volkswagen Passats, the watchdog added.

The collision happened at around 11.40pm on Wednesday, September 23.

The driver of the first Passat escaped injury, but the driver of the second VW, a taxi, suffered minor injuries.

Two women who were passengers in the back were taken to hospital with serious injuries now not thought to be life-threatening, the IOPC added.

Following their deaths, Tommy and Paddy’s family and friends flooded Facebook with pictures of the men and tributes to them.

Tommy was described as ‘the life of the party’ and a ‘loving and caring dad, husband, brother and uncle’.

Paddy who lived in Wigan and leaves behind a wife and four children, was ‘loved by everyone’, his family said.

A relative said: “It’s a very big loss for us all. He was a kind, loving, easy-going person.

“Everyone loved Paddy.”

GMP said the Mercedes was ‘observed being driven at speed’.

No arrests have been made.

|Ma Evening Post