Friends and family celebrated the colourful life of a “once met, never forgotten” author at his funeral.

Mourners, including fellow author Peter James and musician Bob Young, remembered James Her- bert during the ceremony at St Peter’s Church in Henfield on Friday.

The 69-year-old, who died peacefully at his Woodmancote home last month, was one of the best-selling horror writers of the twentieth century.

His coffin was carried into the church to the sound of his favourite song – Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles.

In a moving eulogy, Mr Herbert’s brother John talked about the author’s early love for horror movies, drawing and music, and his hatred of sports.

He said: “It will be very difficult for us all without Jim in our lives. God bless you Jimmy.”

Mr Herbert's first novel, The Rats, depicted London overrun by mutant flesh-eating rodents and sold 100,000 copies within two weeks of being published in 1974.

Since then, he has had 23 novels published in more than 30 languages, selling 54 million copies worldwide.

His latest book, Ash, was published last month. Mr Herbert was appointed an OBE by the Queen in 2010 – the same year he was made Grand Master of Horror by the World of Horror Convention.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen, whom he married in 1967, and their three daughters Kerry, Emma and Casey.

At his funeral, Jeremy Trevathan, Mr Herbert’s editor for ten years, said he was speaking on behalf of “millions of horror fans who love things that go bump in the night”.

He said: “May this man who delighted us and disturbed our peace for over 40 years now have some peace of his own.”

The final tribute came from Status Quo songwriter Bob Young, who described his friend Mr Herbert as “a complete one-off”.

He said: “He was a once met, never forgotten type of person. We’ll miss you Jim – but your spirit lives on.”