London, November 15 : The funeral of a distant relative of 'X-Factor' star Shayne Ward was attended by all of her 172 grandchildren recently.
Margaret Ward, who died at the age of 87, was said to have been devoted to her large Irish Roman Catholic family, and gave each member a gift at Christmas.
Some of Margaret's grandchildren united for the first time ever at her wake, and all 172 grandchildren released a balloon.
Margaret's 12 surviving children were also present at St Sebastian's RC Church in Salford, Greater Manchester, for the service.
Her daughter Anne Hudson revealed that her mother never forgot a birthday.
"Mum was fantastic in every way. She was so devoted. She was there for everyone. Whenever you were in trouble you knew you could go to mum," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.
"She bought presents all year round. She would go to markets to get gifts so she could afford something for everyone.
"She was tough but she had to be to keep us all in line. She was very proud of her family," she said.
Hudson added: "My mother came from a family of nine and my father a family of 14. I only have three children myself but some of my brothers and sisters have 10, 11 or even more. The funeral was the biggest ever gathering of the family since my father died 28 years ago. But this time there were far more offspring."
Over 400 people attended the church, some of whom travelled from Ireland and Birmingham.
Margaret moved to Salford in 1963 from Galway, Ireland. Her hearse, draped in the Irish flag, was pulled by two grey horses and followed by 11 funeral cars.
Readings at her funeral were given by her eldest grandchild, Margaret Furey, 51, and her youngest, 11-year-old Laura Ward.
Her daughter said: "The best bit of advice my mother gave me was 'Always live for today because you never know what tomorrow will bring'.
Three of Margaret's children-Charlie, Marty, and Pat-have died.