Hundreds turn out in memory of lifelong Hammers fan Dennis Lepine
PUBLISHED: 16:35 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:43 23 June 2020
Hundreds of West Ham supporters turned out to pay their respects to a lifelong fan from Hornchurch.
Decked in the club’s claret and blue colours, they were honouring Dennis Lepine, 57, who passed away earlier this month after a short cancer battle.
Dennis had also worked for the club for more than a decade as a scout and then as academy driver, while he ran a coach for Hammers fans from Hornchurch to travel to away games.
His funeral took place today (Tuesday, June 23) and the procession started from his home in Newmarket Way, where large numbers of people lined the street to say their farewells.
His son Billy, who works for the club as a lead goalkeeping coach in the academy, told the Recorder earlier this month that more than 300 people had texted him on the day of his dad’s passing to pay their respects.
He said: “For me, West Ham is a family club. I feel part of that family and this has strengthened those ties for me personally.
“Dad was proper West Ham people say and everyone is telling me he was such a fanatic, he put on the transport, he was a really likeable character and I think that’s why so many people have reached out.”
The club’s star midfielder Declan Rice was among those to pay tribute to Dennis after his passing, describing his death as a sad day for Dennis’s family, himself and the whole club.
He tweeted: “Dennis Lepine, a man that bled claret and blue. A man that treated me like one of his sons.
“A man that no one had a bad word to say about. You’ll be missed Den, RIP. Love you mate.”
Fellow academy graduate Josh Cullen added: “Devastated to hear of the passing of Den.
“A true West Ham legend who it was a privilege to spend so many years with at the club. An all round great guy who had time for everyone. My thoughts are with all of his family and friends.”
As well as Billy, Dennis leaves behind wife Jacqueline and daughter Penny.
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