THE funeral of a ‘much-loved’ community constable will take place today at Burnley Crematorium.

PC Tony Tharme made his final arrest just two weeks ago, detaining a shoplifter until other officers came to assist, despite suffering from an inoperable brain tumour.

The 50-year-old rugby player and golfer, who had been a police officer for 15 years after two decades working in the NHS, died at home on Friday September 21.

He leaves his wife and fellow police officer Nicola, son Gabriel, stepdaughter Emily, mother Barbara, and brothers Matt and Pete.

PC Tharme was awarded a Commendation in 2014 after entering a burning building on Accrington Road, pulling the occupant from the smoke-filled attic to safety.

Friend PC Danny O’Reilly said: “Tony was a much-loved officer.

“He was a well-respected friend and colleague. His infectious personality and positive outlook on life often raised the spirits of those around him, even when he was suffering himself.

“Tony was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour eight years ago and, following recuperation, came back to work on front-line response duties until 2018 when it was discovered the cancer was terminal.

“Even when his condition worsened, Tony would still walk to the station and chat, making people laugh.

“Tony joined Merseyside Police in 2004. He attended the Bruche Police Training Centre in Warrington for initial training, and it was here where he met his wife Nicola. He confided in friends he fell in love the first moment he saw her across the social club. He transferred to Lancashire in 2006.

“He spent his entire career on the frontline, and was a tutor constable, passing on his wealth of knowledge and experience to new probationers. His caring nature was often a comfort to those in distress and his genuine concern for people has helped many victims over the years.

“Whilst off duty with Nicola and Gabriel he intervened in a violent domestic assault on Parliament Street, restraining the aggressive male until colleagues arrived.

“He will be greatly missed by everyone at Burnley Police Station, and the wider community, where he had a massive impact both professionally and personally.”

The cortege will pass Burnley Police Station at 11.30am today for officers to pay their respects. There will be a celebration of his life afterwards at Burnley Rugby Club.