Daughter creates fitting tribute to lifelong Wolves fan father
A man once described by Steve Bull as a ‘cracking footballer’ has been given a unique memorial.
Lee Bevington, a striker for Tipton Town FC and lifelong Wolves fan, died in 2016 from liver failure.
His headstone, designed by daughter Holly Bevington, was specially carved out of granite to look like a wave in memory of the ‘proppa Tipton bloke’.
Coseley Halliwell funeral firm produced the tribute at Tipton Cemetery.
The tribute stands 6ft high and cost nearly £7,000 to create.
The money was raised from his family and from a collection at his funeral which saw people wear Wolves shirts, even West Bromwich fans.
Holly Bevinton, 30, said: “He really stood out in life and now he stands out in the cemetery too.
“My dad was a huge part of my life and always will be. This is where I know my happy place is with him and I wanted to put his personality into his memorial.
“He loved travel. As a child we were always holidaying abroad.
“His favourite place was Cyprus, so the wave signifies the sea. He used to enjoy listening to the sea and the sun always seemed to shine out from him.
“I cried when it was put up. It was better than I ever could have imagined. Now it makes me smile when I visit it. Every time I go there the sun seems to shine down.”
The headstone includes a picture of a beach fringed by palm trees and an image of Mr Bevington, with his cap turned round, at the centre of the sun radiating over the water.
On the grave, there’s a miniature statue of a footballer and the badge of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Lee, who was a former chemical processing manager with Oldbury-based Albright and Wilson, was a popular figure in the community.
He had his playing career at Tipton Town cut short after breaking his ankle twice.
Yvonne Harper, a funeral director at Coseley Halliwell, said it was rare for a family to design their own headstone, but was happy the firm was able to help.
She said: “Holly was good at art when she was at school and drew everything herself.
“We are really pleased at how it’s turned out and it’s such a personal gesture for her dad.
“We had to wait for the ground to settle before we could put up the memorial.
“Holly drew the picture herself and it was then painted by hand onto the stone. She also chose the verses. It took several months to complete because of all the different elements to it.
“We’re so pleased to have been able to assist her in creating this wonderful tribute to her father.”
Holly singled out Yvonne for her help in arranging the unique memorial, adding: “It took a lot of explaining what I wanted, but Yvonne was absolutely brilliant. She is so caring and thoughtful and made it easy for me.
“I may have also started a trend. I met somebody in the cemetery who liked it so much she is designing one for her dad too.”
Lee attended Alexandra School and is now buried in the cemetery next door. He remained friends with his ex-wife Theresa but never remarried.
He also leaves his son Jamie, father Joseph, brother Karl, sister Ruth and grandchildren Lloyd and Velentia.