A motorbike lover who died with no relatives was driven to his funeral in style following an appeal from his friends.

Barry Barnes was due to have a funeral lasting just 15 minutes - but couple Channan and Rob Wheeler, who saw Barry as a surrogate father, would not have it.

On social media and through the Echo, they appealed for bikers to form a ride of honour behind his hearse from West End to Wessex Vale Crematorium.

Daily Echo: The Hearse carrying Barry BarnesThe Hearse carrying Barry Barnes (Image: NQ)Despite the rain, 16 enthusiasts showed out to give him a fitting send off.

READ MORE: Palestine supporters arrested over Leonardo UK Southampton protest

Channan, 28, said: “Thank you so very much to all the bikers that came, it was amazing.

“It touched our hearts; we never expected such an amazing turn out, especially with the bad weather, but they all did Barry proud."

Barry died of lung cancer on November 1 and left behind no blood relatives - but Rob, 39, had known him since he was nine years old.

The Wheeler family remembered how Barry, just five foot and two inches tall, could barely reach the floor on his favourite bike - a Triumph Thunderbird 900cc.

Daily Echo: Barry with Channan and Rob's daughter Kyra aged 8 Barry with Channan and Rob's daughter Kyra aged 8 (Image: NQ)Rob said: “He was a cheeky character and would always go out of his way to help others. He was such a loving soul. He absolutely adored our daughter Kyra, and we miss him very much.”

The riders went from Noyce Court in West End to the crematorium, where the service was held, followed by Channan and Rob in a car.

Speaking after the procession, Channan said: “We woke up this morning feeling downhearted and like nobody would show. But when the time came, bike after bike turned up and it was truly heart warming."

Daily Echo: The bikes turned up one after the other to pay tribute to the motorbike loverThe bikes turned up one after the other to pay tribute to the motorbike lover (Image: NQ)Members of the convoy stopped traffic to make sure everyone stayed together.

Channan said: "Our beloved Barry would be overjoyed with how today went - the bikers even joined the service.

“Barry - we hope you were riding your triumph thunderbird 900cc alongside everyone.

“You have been the best Dad, Grandad and friend - we love you loads, now sleep tight.”