Mourners gathered in Hayes to celebrate the life of the UK’s former tallest man, this morning (March 9).

Gentle giant Christopher Greener, who grew to be 7ft 6ins and weighed up to 30 stone, died on February 11, aged 71.

A keen actor and basketball player Mr Greener, who lived locally in Hayes during his adult life, held the record for being the country’s tallest man for four decades.

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The coffin built for Mr Green was 7ft 10ins long compared to the usual 6ft 2in length and had extra handles for the eight bearers, who carried him.

He was buried in a double plot of land, which is normally reserved for two people, after the service at St Mary’s Church where more than 60 people gathered to pay their respects.

W. Uden and Sons funeral director Matthew Uden said the coffin had only just fit into the back of the hearse.

He said: “I had the pleasure to find out about Christopher after I had a long chat with his friends.

"They described him as a gentle giant who had an enormous heart.

“The funeral went very well with some beautiful things being said about his life and antics, I am sure that he would have been pleased with his send off.

“Mr Greener was an extremely tall chap and we had eight coffin bearers to carry him in to the church as opposed to the usual four or six."

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Among the mourners were members of the Tall Club of Great Britain including the UK’s only female sumo wrestler Sharran Alexander and fellow actor Ross Sambridge.

Mr Sambridge, who is 7ft 1in tall and appeared alongside Mr Greener in ITV’s Superhuman: Giants, said: “He was a great guy, a real gent.”

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Sharran Alexander and Ross Sambridge

From a very young age, Mr Greener had a tumour at the base of his pituitary gland, which controls human growth hormones.

If he had not had the tumour surgically removed in his late 20s, he would have continued to grow and grow.

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Doctors did not diagnose Mr Greener’s condition, pituitary gigantism, until 1970 when he was 27 years old and already the record-holder as the UK’s tallest man. 

Mr Greener played the circus giant in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man in 1980.

He starred in documentaries chronicling the lives of the very tall, including The World’s Tallest People on USA’s The Learning Channel and Superhuman: Giants on ITV.