Wardell died aged 37 on August 24 after suffering a cardiac arrest while he was in bed with Archibald, just days after becoming the Scottish mountain bike champion.

Hundreds gathered at Dunfermline Crematorium for Wednesday’s service and the procession carrying his coffin was joined by cyclists on their way to the service.

Archibald told the service how Wardell would do anything he could to help his friends and family.

A man holds an order outside a funeral service

“He may have always been late, but Rab would never leave a friend in need,” she said.

Archibald said Wardell first told her he loved her when they were riding their bikes together.

She recalls: “I was horrified, I said that you can’t say that here, in the rain, on a bicycle.”

“After serving his time, I told him the truth that I love him too.

Reb Wardell’s funeral procession arrives at Dunfermline Crematorium

“I told him that every day since then.

“In a way, it’s a comfort that Rab knew how much I loved him.”

She said that when they were apart he sent her love songs and a recording he sent Archibald of him playing You Can Talk To Me was broadcast to those present.

In it, he can be heard saying: “So I had this funny idea to sing you this song” before telling her that “the downside for me is that it’s all too high for me, so I I will strain and sound stupid at some moments, but I am not afraid.”

Reb Wardell and Kathy Archibald –

The crowd laughed when Wardell was heard swearing at the end of the song, saying it wasn’t very good.

Reverend Hunter Farquharson, conducting the service, said to Archibald: “I didn’t know you were going to leave this part.”

Wardell won the Scottish MTB XC Championship just days before his death and appeared on television on the evening of his death to talk about his victory.

Archibald fought for his life when he went into cardiac arrest but was unable to do so.

During the service, Mr Farquharson said he remembered Wardell coming to church as a child with his parents.

Wardell’s father, Jack, paid tribute to him at the service and joked about his son that in hindsight it was “no wonder he was rushed in two days late” when he was born in June 1985.

He told the audience how much his son loved bikes and concluded his tribute by saying: “He touched the hearts of many people and inspired many more.

“He made us laugh, he made us proud. Rest in peace.”


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