POLICE officers from across Scotland formed a guard of honour at Legerwood Kirk near Earlston on Tuesday at the funeral of their colleague Stephen (Steve) Cully, who died suddenly at the Scottish Police College, Tulliallan, on September 9. He was 41.
The rural church was packed to capacity with many more listening to the transmission of the service outside as tributes were paid to the Ulster-born firearms instructor who lived in Lauder with his wife Rosie, who runs a well-known local catering company, and their two young children Hannah, six, and Josh, three.
Educated in Belfast and at Edinburgh University, he joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1994, setting up home in the Borders 11 years ago. He was latterly a member of the firearms training unit based at Fettes.
Among the hundreds of mourners were friends from his rugby-playing days. Steve had represented Ulster and Ireland under-21s, the Irish Exiles and the British Police as well a turning out for Edinburgh Accies and Stewart’s Melville.
He took up running after retiring from rugby and in March 2009, with three police friends, completed the Marathon des Sables, a six-day run across the Sahara acknowledged as the toughest foot-race on earth, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.