Jacqui Schmidt gave a tearful eulogy to her late husband Carl Schmidt in front of more than 100 of their friends and family.

She said: “Thank you for dying with me at your side, I would have hated you dying alone. I am glad we had a fantastic weekend together just me and you out in the canoe.

“You were even impressed with my paddling.

“I will never forget our last evening together, just sitting and chatting and loving being together. Thank you for being my protector, my soulmate and best friend, my confidante and my Mr fix it.

“Anyway, Mr Schmidt, it is time to say goodbye.

“I have all my wonderful memories of our married life together. I know you will always be looking after me. I love you, Carl, so much.”

Mr Schmidt died on Tuesday, May 29, after diving into the Avon at Corporation Meadow in Evesham on the previous Sunday.

The Gordon Rhodes and Son sales executive, who was originally from Blackpool, moved to Worcestershire with his wife 18 years ago.

His tragic accident brought mourners from across the country to the Holy Redeemer Church in Pershore, with many dressed in bright colours to mark the loss of a man who was described by Father John Walsh as “someone who loved life”.

Even in death Mr Schmidt surprised family and friends with his coffin, which was decorated in the style of a can of Carling lager.

Part of a reading penned by Mr Schmidt’s niece, Rebecca Andrews, said: “Uncle Carl was the most loving person.

Most of you will remember him for the jokes and pranks he played. I have the most amazing memories of him.”