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Retailers say goodbye to Richard 'Ratty' Ratner

Monday morning trading meetings were suspended yesterday as retailers from across the sector gathered to pay their respects to retail analyst Richard 'Ratty' Ratner, who died of a heart attack last month.

Arcadia Group and Bhs owner Sir Philip Green and Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose were amongst the great and good of the retail and banking sectors who packed into the church of St Sepulchre Without NewGate in the City of London yesterday morning for a memorial service for the Seymour Pierce analyst.

An order of service was laid out in the distinctive blue and white of Ratner's infamous broker's note "The Weekly Shop" and dotted with pictures of Ratty including a dashing shot of him in his Queen's Hussar's uniform.

The congregation laughed as they were regaled with stories of the analyst's infamous appetite and un-PC jokes.

Former Woolworth's chairman Sir Gerald Corbett, nicknamed the "fat controller" by Ratner, a reference to his past role as chief executive of Railtrack, gave one of the eulogies. He told the congregation about one occasion when he turned up for lunch at Seymour Pierce and was met by Ratty blowing a whistle, waving a flag and wearing a stationmaster's hat.

He said: "More was to come when I got upstairs where the dining table had a toy train set running around the edge of it. Ratty said "It runs better now you are not in charge". Pudding was a chocolate cake which came in the shape of a steam engine."

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