Among those attending the service at the University of Glasgow were fellow crime writer Ian Rankin, actors David Hayman and Tony Roper, Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross, and former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The acclaimed novelist, broadcaster and poet passed away at his home in Scotland earlier this month (Dec15) aged 79, after a short illness.

MCIlvanney rose to literary success with his crime novels Docherty, The Big Man and The Kiln, as well as his Laidlaw detective trilogy, landing himself the nickname the "Godfather of Tartan Noir".

Rankin, the creator of the Rebus novels and TV series, paid tribute to the man who inspired him to write his own thrillers.

"He wrote in such a varied manner; his journalism was fantastic, his essays are fantastic, he wrote great poetry, great short stories, literary novels, great crime fiction, so how do you assess all that?" he told Britain's Daily Record newspaper after the funeral.

"At this stage we're assessing the man and what he has is a fantastic family who say that his books are his legacy. As long as the books are there he's still alive and he'll be alive in the hearts of readers for generations to come."

Roper, a star of Scottish sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt and personal friend of the author, told the publication his close pal would have been moved by the service, which was attended by 300 mourners.

"He was a great man to know. He would have been really, really proud of what happened today," the actor said.