Before John Myers’ funeral, in the sunshine outside Carlisle Cathedral and in the aisles, many mourners greeted each other with hugs.

John would have liked that.

Former radio colleague Phil Riley was among those who paid tribute to him during Saturday’s service.

“John and I started telling each other we loved each other a few years ago,” said Phil. “And we never stopped.

“Even if you’re six foot four, happily married and 16 stone on a good day, you can still tell a friend that you love them.”

This was a day which had arrived too soon.

The Dean of Carlisle, the Very Reverend Mark Boyling, said: “When death comes unexpectedly, we feel it most keenly.”

The cathedral was packed with John’s family, friends, and those who welcomed him into their lives through his role as a gifted broadcaster with Border TV and CFM.

John’s son Scott spoke about his father with great warmth. His tribute had many people in tears. He said: “Our hearts are broken, but also bursting with love.”

Scott was one of several speakers who mentioned John’s belief in expressing emotion.

“Even though dad left us suddenly, we don’t feel like things were left unsaid. We know how much he loved us and how much we meant to him, because he told us at every opportunity. And we did the same.”

John’s wife Linda was, said Scott, the centre of John’s world. “Making her happy was the single most important goal in his life.”

Scott recalled his father’s diagnosis with throat cancer last year.

“He refused to have down days. He limited himself to down moments before snapping out of it and focusing on the positive approach to recovery.

“We should remember that approach now.

“Dad will live on through photos and videos, stories and memories. And snippets of advice we can trust and take forward.

One sticks out: life is not a rehearsal.”

Scott last saw his father two days before he died. He recalled how well John looked; “the sparkle in his eyes” was back.

“He was positively thriving and back to his best. In command, in demand and loving life. While it may seem cruel that he was taken at 60, I like to think he left on a high.

“He always was, and always will be, our guardian angel.”

Scott’s final words were addressed to his father. “We will miss you every single day. You will echo in our hearts forever. Thank you – we love you.”

Former radio colleagues told how John had become their best friend.

Simon Cole said that John had recorded a video message wishing him a happy birthday last year, while John was undergoing cancer treatment.

John’s granddaughter Mia gave a beautiful reading from the gospel of St Matthew.

BBC Radio Cumbria presenter Harry King, a friend of John’s for 40 years, told how, in 2012, John had popped into the studio for a short interview.

“Two and a half hours later we were still chatting.”

Harry recalled that at the end of the interview he had asked John how he would like to be remembered. Just then, through the cathedral’s speakers, came a warm, familiar voice. It was John.

“I think at the end, when someone’s looking down and someone says ‘John Myers – what did you think?’ I think if people said ‘He made a difference, and he was a nice guy’, I think that’s the best anyone can hope for.”

There were smiles. Tissues dabbed at eyes.

And the Dean said: “There was never any doubt that John would have the last word."