Distraught Usain Bolt served as a pallbearer as his best friend Germaine Mason was laid to rest on Sunday in Jamaica.
Family and friends, including a host of star athletes, of the beloved Great Britain high jumper gathered in Kingston to say their final farewell.
Bolt, former Bolton footballer Ricardo Gardner and Tranmere player Ian Goodison were among those to carry Mason’s coffin at the Hagley Park Seventh Day Adventist Church in St Andrew.
Mason died in April when his motorbike crashed while on his way home from a party with friends, including Bolt.
The Olympic silver medal-winning high jumper was weeks away from becoming a father for the second time when he fell from his powerful Honda CBR bike.
Mason, 34, is reported to have been working on a “secret project” with Bolt before his death.
Bolt, the Olympic and world 100m and 200m champion, also helped to dig Mason’s grave.
Other star athletes in attendance included Jamaican international sprinters Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell.
Mason remains the Jamaican national high jump record holder despite his switch to represent Team GB in 2006.
Two years after the change he was on the podium at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Close friends said Bolt is “inconsolable” after the death of Germaine, who trained with Stephen Francis’s MVP Track Club in Jamaica before moving to the Birchfield Harriers in the UK.
Mason’s death was announced by the Jamaica Constabulary after he “allegedly lost control and fell from the motorcycle”.
He was pronounced dead at hospital.
The Jamaican Gleaner reported that Bolt, Frater and Gardner were among first of his devastated friends at the scene of the accident on the Palisadoes main road.
“Usain Bolt was part of the group that came by,” said Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen. “He was very, very emotional – and still is.”
Frater said: “I’m just devastated at the news. He was a friend from high school days… I still can’t believe this.”
Germaine was said to be attempting to avoid hitting a vehicle that had lost control on the other side of the road, claimed unconfirmed reports.
Senior British athletics coach Fuzz Caan, who trained Germaine for his historic Beijing performance, said: “Germaine was a lovely guy, a genuine, 100 percent guy. He was the best high jumper I have coached. Germaine was better than all of them.
“He texted me in November and said ‘I wish I was still around you guys’. He was a genuinely lovely person.”