Liverpool prepared to bid farewell to one of its biggest and best loved stars, Cilla Black, on 20 August. Tributes poured in for the late British entertainer, who died of a stroke following a fall in her home in Spain on 1 August.
With a few hours to go before her funeral at St Marys Church in Woolton, Liverpool fans gathered to pay their respects. Waiting in the cordoned off area on the road outside the church, fans came from all over the country to see the procession.
I dont think shes ever forgotten her Liverpool roots. So I think its important that obviously Liverpool people will want to show their respect and just to show that she was loved and remembered. And Im just so thrilled that she has come back here and not Buckinghamshire to be buried. You know I think its a good thing for the city, said Christine from Southport.
Brian Maddock, from Chester, said it was Cillas down to earth personality he loved: She had no airs and graces, Cilla.She was a peoples person and I think she really did love Liverpool.
That sentiment was echoed by Pam Moore, who runs a beauty salon nearby. Shes a part and parcel of Liverpool. Cilla is Liverpool, just like The Beatles are Liverpool. Cillas Liverpool, said Moore.
As well as family members, the funeral is being attended by several high profile guests – Sir Cliff Richard will sing Faithful One at the start of the ceremony. Stars Paul OGrady, Jimmy Tarbuck and Christopher Biggins will give readings, while The Beatles hit The Long and Winding Road has been chosen as the recessional music to play at the end.
After the ceremony – at the church where she and husband Bobby Willis had their marriage blessed – the entertainers body will be laid to rest close by at Allerton Cemetery where her parents are buried.