Olympic great Liz McColgan has paid an emotional tribute at the funeral of her husband John Nuttall.
Fighting back tears, Liz, told how her initial anger at losing John, 56, in Qatar on November 9 has now turned to a feeling of peace and gratitude.
For most of the funeral at the crematorium in John’s home town of Preston, Liz sat with her head bowed but rose to speak about the man she described as the love of her life.
Liz told the congregation: “At first I was really angry because we had fought so hard to be together and I felt we had been cheated.
“But last night when I sat with John in the funeral director’s, it became clear that it had been better to have loved than never have loved.
“The time we had together was so special. There’s no need to be sad or angry.
“He lived a great life and had great friends. He looked so peaceful last night and I am peaceful now.”
Liz said it will be hard to return to coaching and sports therapy in Doha, Qatar, but she is determined to continue what they both started.
The funeral in Lancashire was livestreamed, with the Dundee hero sharing details of the funeral on Instagram so friends around the world could tune in to pay their respects to dad-of-two John.
She also hailed her late husband’s patience in becoming stepfather to her five children.
In her tribute, she said the messages of condolence and support the family has received in recent weeks had been “overwhelming”, making a huge difference after John’s death.
Liz said: “As a father, I have never seen anyone have so much pride and love for his children and for the people they have turned into.
“John also knew that his parents, Barry and Brenda, were the best parents ever.”
Liz, dressed in black like her daughter Eilish and family members, received a round of applause as she returned to her seat in the packed crematorium.
John’s children, Hannah and Luke, both GB international athletes like Eilish, spoke of the belief and encouragement their father had given them.
Luke also told of the special time he spent with Liz and John watching the World Cup in Qatar last year.
The couple married in 2014 and for the last few years the couple have been living in Qatar where John coached at national level and with Liz at the Doha Athletics Club.
Both were giants of British athletics.
Liz was an Olympic silver medallist in Seoul in 1988 and took gold for Great Britain at the Tokyo World Championships in 1991, with Commonwealth Games glory coming in Edinburgh in 1986 and Auckland four years later.
John was born in Preston, Lancashire, in 1967 and began his running career as a school boy.
In 1986 he took first place over 3,000 metres in the English Schools Championship, setting a record that still stands.
He excelled across Europe at junior level and was accepted for a scholarship at Iowa State University in 1986.
John was successful at national level in the US, winning a clutch of competitions including the 1986 National Junior Cross-Country Championship.
He won a Commonwealth bronze at 5000 metres in 1994, and represented Great Britain at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta before moving into coaching.
John had previously been married to Commonwealth bronze medallist Alison Wyeth, mum to Hannah and Luke.
Announcing her husband’s death earlier this month, Liz said: “For those that loved John, our hearts are breaking.”