Soap stars have joined the family of Emmerdale actor Clive Hornby for his funeral.

Clive, who played Jack Sugden in the ITV1 soap for almost 30 years, died earlier this month at the age of 63.

Elizabeth Estensen, who plays his on-screen wife Diane, read a eulogy at the service at Rawdon Crematorium, in Leeds. And among the many other members of the current cast who paid their respects was Kelvin Fletcher, who plays troubled Andy Sugden.

Former stars of the ITV1 drama, including Claire King and Malandra Burrows, were also present.

Clive was the longest-serving cast member in Emmerdale’s history, a fixture in the soap for 28 years. His last scenes were broadcast in February, but the star had been determined to beat a mystery illness and return to work.

The actor first walked on to the Emmerdale set on February 19, 1980, after being offered a three-month contract. He took over the role from Andrew Burt, who had played Sugden since the first episode.

Recently, the actor said of his longevity on the soap: “I can’t believe I’m still here sometimes. Some of the kids in the show weren’t even born when I started.

“But I love it. I must be a survivor because 28 years is a long time to survive in a soap. I can’t imagine leaving.”

His character was married three times, had five children, and suffered plenty of on-screen strife.