THE family of a much-loved Greenock man who died after collapsing in church have presented a life-saving defibrillator to their local community in his memory.

At a moving handover ceremony loved ones of the late James Houten returned to St Andrew's Church to pay tribute to the retired IBM worker and ex-amateur footballer who also sang in the choir.

Now thanks to his family's generosity Larkfield will have full use of a public access defibrillator at the same church.

Parish priest Canon Danny McLoughlin led the tributes to a man who played such an active role in the church and the wider community.

Unveiling a plaque with the device, Canon McLoughlin said: "I think it is fitting to mention that one of the last times I spoke to Jimmy it was about his concern for someone else.

"He was worried about them and that is very indicative of Jimmy, his concern was always for others and never for himself.

"In life Jimmy had an influence and even in death Jimmy will have an influence on others with this defibrillator and God willing it will do what it is supposed to do."

James died on July 31 this year after taking seriously unwell at St Andrews' after singing in the choir at mass.

The 73-year-old was rushed to hospital but doctors could not save him.

In the weeks that followed his family, including brothers Dan and Henry and sister Rosemary, decided to donate a life-saving defibrillator to the community of Larkfield in his memory.

James was a long serving member at St Andrew's and hugely involved in the local amateur football scene.

He also was supportive of a number of charities, including Children in Poverty Inverclyde.

St Andrew's choirmistress and James' great friend Sandra Huthwaite officially unveiled the defibrillator with some fitting words.

She said: "This isn't just a donation, it is a gift, a gift of possible life in the future from Jimmy, who will carry on caring for others even when he is no longer here himself.

"This is opened for Jimmy, a great friend and esteemed member of our choir."

An emotional Councillor Ciano Rebecchi also spoke at the ceremony along with Jimmy's older brother Dan, who expressed his hope that it would help others, and his friend Pat Burke.

Dan added: "He loved to sing and he loved St Andrew's."