THEY mourned Paul McBride in black. But they also mourned him in green. Almost 1000 people gathered in Glasgow yesterday to bid farewell to Scotland's highest-profile QC.

Most came to the city's St Aloysius’ Church in the sombre clothing of grief but there were those, including most of the Celtic squad, who paid their last respects in the colours of the football club Mr McBride loved.

Players were shown to their seats by ushers from Mr McBride's old school, St Aloysius' College – footballers and pupils alike in green and gold, the same colours as the marble and gild of the Jesuit church’s stunning interior.

"Paul would love this," whispered one mourner, for the 47-year-old, whose death, on business in Pakistan on March 4, stunned Scotland's legal, media, sporting and political elite. "What a turnout."

It took an hour to fill St Aloysius', which seats 800, then, as a requiem mass for Mr McBride began, scores more squeezed into the church.

Some sat on the steps, or leaned on pillars in the wings. Others blocked the doors open, adding a hint of March weather to the occasion.

Then came the coffin, a dark hardwood box bearing a single white rose. Among the pallbearers: Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager. Behind the coffin were George and Mary, Mr McBride's parents. They were followed by the lawyer's partner, Gary Murphy, who had to be helped to stay on his feet.

Then, in more than an hour of song and warm words, one of Scotland's finest legal minds was remembered.

Fellow advocate and close friend Tony Graham brought more laughs than tears. Speaking directly to the deceased, Mr Graham remembered a school report Mr McBride had been given at St Aloysius'. A teacher, he said, had written  to his parents warning them their son was a "bit of a dreamer" and would need to keep his feet on the ground.

"Well, Paul," said Mr Graham, "I have never known you to be anywhere near the ground. And you achieved quite a few dreams along the way."

Few needed reminding yesterday of the remarkable career of Mr McBride, reputedly the youngest ever QC in British history.

"You never counted any favours," said Mr Graham to his lost friend. "You always had a mobile phone welded to your ear. You always answered your phone but the answer was never no."

The favours may never have been returned. But the respect was. The diversity of the congregation at St Aloysius' told that story.

From politics came First Minister Alex Salmond, Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont and former MSP Trish Godman – the latter,  like Mr McBride and Mr Lennon, was an alleged target of letter bombs last year. Other politicians at the Mass included George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail.

From the law there were QCs Maggie Scott, Donald Findlay and Gordon Jackson; the former Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini and former solicitor general Lord McCluskey.

Aamer Anwar – who was with Mr McBride in Pakistan and returned home on Saturday on a flight that also bore the coffin of his close friend and colleague – was visibly upset as he left the church. So many lawyers, sheriffs and judges attended the Requiem that courts were adjourned yesterday morning.

It was left to Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland to explain quite why  so many had come. The QC, Mr Mulholland said, had "a contact book better than Simon Cowell's"...He was one of the finest lawyers of his generation and one of the most able leaders of his generation."

Mr McBride stood up to bigots, the Lord Advocate said. "Paul was fearless. He was not afraid to speak out if speaking out was the right thing to do. The easiest thing would have been to stay quiet but that wasn't Paul’s style."

That got smiles, from  judges and QCs marking the death of their colleague and from Mr McBride's more modest clients and friends.

The Mass ended with a reading  of WH Auden's Stop the Clocks, the poem featured in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

"He was my North, my South, my East and West," read a close  friend, solicitor Angela McCracken. "I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong."

The coffin was carried from the church to the sound of the Etta James classic At Last. It was taken to a private burial at St Conval's Cemetery in Barrhead before friends and family held a wake at Celtic Park.

Mr Mulholland said: "Paul would have been as proud as Punch to see the number of people here today, from all walks of life. I'm sure I  can hear him shouting down at all of us, 'Beat that'."