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Funeral tears for shot father
12:00pm Friday 7th December 2001 in News
A floral display bearing the word "Daddy" adorned a horse-drawn hearse at the funeral of a murdered boxer.
Boxing gloves and boots belonging to father-of-three Jimmy Millen hung from the sides of the carriage pulled by two shire horses.
Mr Millen's six pall bearers wept as his coffin emerged from the carriage before they carried it into the 17th Century Church in the Wood in Church Wood Drive, Hastings.
The church, set in ancient woodland dating back to before 1600, is within two miles of the spot where Mr Millen, 27, was killed in a drive-by shooting in October.
The murdered man's wife, Michelle, held a red rose as she walked with her head bowed behind the coffin, flanked by their children, Daniel, 11, James, nine, and Chelsea, eight.
More than 200 mourners filled the church yesterday to hear emotional tributes to Mr Millen, a former professional boxer who came to Hastings, aged 16, from Liverpool.
His father, Fred Millen, 49, led the tributes, saying his son was a family man who never avoided his enemies, preferring instead to go face to face with them.
He condemned the "cowards" who shot his son in the back four times from a motorbike as he worked on his Ford Fiesta XR2 in Tile Barn Road, Hastings.
He said: "Jimmy was a family man who doted on his kids and made sure they wanted for nothing."
Mr Millen told the packed church how difficult it was to break the news of his son's death to his children, who were distraught.
He said: "Jimmy had a passion for two things - the gym and cars.
"He owned more cars in his short life than most people do in their whole life."
The half-hour service ended with prayers for Mr Millen and his family, of Taylor Close, Hastings, before the coffin was laid to rest in the church grounds.
Few major clues have surfaced about Mr Millen's death, despite a police reward of £10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his killers.