An "incomparable" bomb disposal expert from Birmingham with a "wonderfully dry sense of humour" has been laid to rest to Paul McCartney's Frog Chorus.
Staff Sergeant Brett Linley died, aged 29, while clearing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from a key route in the Nahr-e Saraj area of Helmand Province last month.
S/Sgt Linley's coffin was decorated with flowers including a football in his favourite team Birmingham City's colours for the service at St Francis of Assisi Church, in Bournville.
His parents George and Ann, family and friends gathered in a sea of black and purple outside the church afterwards as a firing party fired a volley of three shots.
Speaking ahead of the service, Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex, commanding officer 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal
Logistics Corps, said SSgt Linley would be looking down on friends and family with a "wry" smile, after requesting his coffin be carried in to The Frog Chorus and asking for a purple-themed funeral and wake.
He said: "He was modest, unassuming in character, but larger than life. He had a wonderfully dry sense of humour and he really did light up a room.
"SSgt Linley, in a note to his family, requested that his coffin be brought in to the Frog Chorus by Paul McCartney and that everyone wore purple. That was him, that was Brett Linley and he will be looking down on us with a wry smile today."
He said SSgt Linley's work was invaluable to the war effort in Afghanistan. "The amount of IEDs out in Afghanistan really does constrain the coalition forces trying to do their job.
"So without the likes of Brett Linley conducting his vital role we really wouldn't be able to start on the very important business of building local security.
"He had already dealt with scores of IEDs during his tour, saving Afghanistan and British lives in the course of his tour."
Tributes were also paid by Warrant Officer Class 1 Marcus Dewstowe and Mike Fisher - both friends of the soldier.
Mr Fisher, who met his "best mate" when they were 11, raised a laugh when he opened his tribute with: "I bet he is squirming in his boots at the thought of a few of his ex-girlfriends sitting under one roof."
The service was followed by a private burial at nearby Wythall Cemetery.