HUNDREDS of people attended the funeral of Creswick man David Blake on Wednesday afternoon.
David, 39, died suddenly after an alleged altercation at The Farmers Arms Hotel in Creswick on November 24.
A solemn service was hosted as hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered at Doug Lindsay Reserve to pay their respects to the lifelong Creswick man more widely known as 'Tender', with the magnitude of the amount of people in attendance highlighting the wide array of connections he had not only forged but treasured in life.
David was the youngest of Nancy and David senior's six children - Trevor, Brad, Jason, Sharon, Tammy and David.
Trevor told the crowd the past week had been a 'catastrophic' time for his family, but they were humbled by the support from the Creswick community and wider district.
"It is a testament to the great man that he was. We will always be heartbroken but we will never forget you, big fella. We love you," he said.
Born in October 1980, David was a quiet child who was doted on and spoiled by his sisters.
Growing up in Creswick, he attended Creswick North Primary School and then travelled to attend Wendouree Technical High School.
While he did not enjoy school all that much, he loved listening and learning from his siblings and partaking in activities including fishing in the dam, fashioning bows and arrows, rabbiting and watching his siblings play footy, cricket and racing on the Daylesford Speedway.
During his early teenage years David began to play football and cricket himself, joining both the Creswick Football Netball Club and Creswick Imperials Cricket Club.
A talented sportsman, he played in the junior, under-16 and senior league at the footy club as a centre half forward and was known for having a good mark and straight kick.
He made many friends through the football club, many whom he remained friends with in later life.
Trevor said one of his highlights as a young cricketer in the under-16s was when he made a century and as a senior when he was instrumental in helping the team win a premiership.
A quiet and private person, after leaving school he started work as an apprentice plasterer in Ballarat and just a few short years later bought his own home along Clunes Rd. Long maintaining that 'Rome wasn't built in a day', he had only recently finished renovating it.
Enjoying a drink at the pub with mates, his house was also open for anybody to drop in and have a beer with and at 6'5", he had a big heart and was always happy to lend a helping hand or listening ear.
He was a valued and trustworthy friend to many and was widely respected, as he respected others, whether it be a corporate lawyer or a cleaner.
Sister Tam said one of her last memories of her brother was being wrapped in one of his headlock cuddles and them both saying 'I love you' - a memory she will treasure for the rest of her life.
Lifelong friend Darren Mitchell said warmth radiated from David and his greatest and ongoing legacy was that of the enormous network of friends he had left behind.
He was a loved brother, brother-in-law, son, uncle, godfather and best man.
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