MORE than 200 people said goodbye at the funeral of a Cwmbran man who raised thousands of pounds for charity through his love of dancing.

Tony Jenkins, 72, a founding member of the Rebel Stompers line dance team, died on January 29 after being diagnosed with melanoma on his brain.

His wife, Maureen, described him as a ‘strong character’ who was determined to continue in his roles within the community despite having battled cancer in his chest two-and-a-half years ago.

Around 240 people paid their respects to him at his funeral on February 10 at the Holy Trinity Church in Pontnewydd.

Mr Jenkins, who was born in New Inn but had lived in Thornhill, Cwmbran for over 30 years, raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities.

He entertained scores of organisations with his line dancing group the Rebel Stompers, performing at residential homes, sheltered housing, senior citizen complexes and other venues.

Since being set up 14 years ago, the dance team, of which Mrs Jenkins is also a member, raised money for local charities including the baby care unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital, St Anne’s Hospice, St Woolos Hospital, St David’s Foundation and New Inn charity, Action for Children.

The couple also raised around £6,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis appeal at Llandough Hospital, since they lost their 27-year-old daughter-in-law to it seven years ago.

In 2010, Mr Jenkins was awarded a Civic Testimonial by Torfaen Council for services to the community.

He enjoyed a career as a bus driver for more than 20 years before becoming a coach driver in 1986, where he enjoyed taking pensioners on holiday.

Mrs Jenkins, his wife of 27 years, said: “He loved talking to people and made lots of friends from his time driving.”

In 1991, he won The United Kingdom Bus Driver of the Year competition in Blackpool.

Even after taking retirement seven years ago, he carried on organising trips for pensioners, and he even had a vintage double decker bus he took to shows.

Mrs Jenkins added: “He was an entertainer and loved organising the trips and playing bingo on the coach.

“He touched so many people in the community and it was lovely to see so many faces from over the years at his funeral.”

Around five years ago, Mr Jenkins took up teaching line dancing at Kensington Court, Newport, and Mrs Jenkins has decided to continue running the class in his memory.

He leaves behind his wife, Maureen, son, Andrew, stepsons John and Mark, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.