He brought sunshine to millions . . . until a vandal hacked him off.
Now, as the world waits for the iconic statue of funnyman Eric Morecambe to be restored to its seafront plinth, fans have been digging into their photo albums for snaps of how things used to be.
Striking that same classic pose from the finale of the Morecambe and Wise TV shows, thousands have posed alongside the famous bronze in the 15 years since it was unveiled by the Queen.
They have come from all parts of the globe – even a brace of bishops all the way from South Africa – to pay homage to the comic genius and have their picture taken alongside him.
And as work goes on at a London foundry to reconnect Eric to his right boot – the only bit left standing after the hacksaw attack – the Evening Post is turning back the clock to show the comedian and his impersonators in all their glory.
Sculptor Graham Ibbeson, who visited the resort to survey the damage for the first time last week, reckons the statue could be back in place within six to eight weeks – giving his hometown the chance for a Christmas special starring its most famous son.
Graham said: “There has been an outpouring of grief because it’s a loss.
“I know it’s only a seven foot lump of bronze, but it’s a seven foot lump of bronze of Eric Morecambe. And people love the sculpture because they loved the man.”