Alsager runner John Lawton died after falling off mountain
A MARATHON runner who went missing in Greece was killed instantly after plunging 200ft down a mountain and suffering fatal head injuries.
John Lawton died while competing in the 21-mile Taygetos Challenge, in Greece, on April 8.
Search teams combed the mountainous area around the race course before the 62-year-old's body was found 18 weeks later by two walkers on August 14.
The father-of-two was wearing a tracker device which revealed he had taken a wrong turn and ended up three hours in the opposite direction of the finish line.
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A coroner in Greece has already ruled John, who lived in Lake View, Alsager, with his wife Lynda, would have died instantly after he slipped and fell headfirst.
The details of his final moments were revealed at John's funeral yesterday, where the grandfather was described as a 'warm and generous' man who loved his family.
There was standing room only inside Bradwell Crematorium as mourners gathered to pay their final respects.
In an emotional tribute, Lynda, aged 61, described speaking at the funeral of her husband of 43 years as the hardest thing she had ever done.
She said: "We met when we were 17 in a jazz club in Stockport and he tossed a coin to decide if he would dance with me or my friend.
"We married a year later but despite many people saying it wouldn't last because we were too young, it did survive.
"I'm not sure how I'm going to survive without John. He was not only my husband but was my best friend.
"He always encouraged me in everything I did and we shared everything, from the good times to the bad times.
"He loved the freedom and beauty of the countryside and loved nothing more than putting his trainers on and getting out there."
John was a member of Sandbach Striders running club and had previously taken part in marathons around the world.
He had been running for 12 years and his wife had travelled to Greece with him, as the couple hoped to enjoy a holiday after John had finished the race.
The funeral heard that John also enjoyed cooking and cycling and had a keen sense of adventure.
The Reverend Robin Isherwood, who led the service, said the family had gone through desperation, anxiety and hope over the last 18 weeks.
Tributes were also paid by John's son, Steve, and his daughter Sara.
John was cremated following the service and donations were taken for Cheshire Search and Rescue.
To pay your respects to John, email email@example.com.