Famous faces bid farewell to union stalwart Jimmy Reid

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Famous figures from the worlds of politics, entertainment and sport joined hundreds of mourners today for the funeral of former Scottish trade union leader Jimmy Reid.

The stalwart of the 1970s labour movement died last week at the age of 78 after a short illness.



Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, former prime minister Gordon Brown, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and comedian Billy Connolly joined family and friends at Govan Old Parish Church in Glasgow for the celebration of Mr Reid's life.



The gathering followed an intimate ceremony this morning on the Isle of Bute, where Mr Reid lived out his final years.



Around 100 people attended the service at the United Church of Bute, with a further 50 lining the pier as the funeral cortege boarded a ferry to the mainland.



The cortege later travelled under police escort to Glasgow and workers at Govan shipyard lined part of the road as hearse passed. The coffin with roses on top was carried into the church led by a piper. Flowers spelt the words "papa" and "dad" in the hearse.



Born in Govan, Mr Reid rose to international prominence when he led the famous "work-in" of thousands of shipbuilders on the Clyde during 1971 and 1972, thwarting government attempts to close the yards.



A speech he made to students as rector of Glasgow University on "rejecting the rat race" in 1971 appeared in full in the New York Times.



Sir Alex, a friend and fellow Govan man, was expected to make a personal tribute during the service, as was Connolly, who worked on the shipyards as an apprentice welder before finding fame on the stage.



Following Mr Reid's death on August 10, Mr Salmond led tributes to the "Clyde-built" trade union activist.



He described him as Scotland's "great rallying figure" over the last four decades, who provoked real change for the better in society.



A lifelong socialist, Mr Reid stood as a Communist Party candidate in 1974 and polled more than 6,000 votes in the Dunbartonshire Central constituency.



He went on to join Labour, standing for the party in Dundee in 1979, but later switched to the SNP.



He also worked as a journalist and broadcaster before retiring to Bute.



Mr Reid died at Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock after falling ill a few days earlier.



He leaves behind wife Joan and three daughters, Eileen, Shona and Julie.

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