Touching tributes have been paid to a Crystal Palace fan who sadly passed away to cancer last month (July 3)

Friends and family of Ian Frederick Thornton, known affectionately as 'Dilly' by many, gathered at the Railway Telegraph pub in Thornton Heath on Friday (July 30) and gave him a remarkable and memorable send-off.

In one of the most touching displays of friendship with Dilly, who was an ardent Crystal Palace fan, his close friends and family all wore Palace shirts for the occasion, despite their number including supporters from rival London clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea.

It was a sign of how much Dilly meant to so many people, as close friend Pat told the Croydon Guardian:

"It was brilliant, perfect really, a really good send off," Pat, who'd known Dilly for 20 years, said.

This Is Local London: Ian Frederick Thornton "Dilly" Ian Frederick Thornton "Dilly"

"Half the people there weren't even Palace fans but Dilly had left it in his wishes that he wanted that so all the boys obliged. It shows the respect he had to be honest," he added.

Pat said the event at the Railway Telegraph, hosted "brilliantly" by staff and landlords Neal and Jig Singh-Rekhi, was a "celebration" of his life as was evident in the many happy pictures that emerged from the event.

"Dilly was a regular at the Railway Telegraph, and he was a brilliant guy. Fun, outgoing, generous, loving, a lovely guy and it shows just how much he was loved by the turnout," Pat, who also paid tribute to Dilly's 'best mate' Ian Mears who helped at the event, said.

"Dilly got on with everybody. One of those rare people who didn't have any enemies really. No-one ever said anything bad about him and he never said anything bad about anyone else."

Ian leaves behind his wife Denise Thornton, and children Josh and Tyler.