Hundreds bid farewell to comedy legend Bobby

Applause echoed around Lytham as Bobby Ball made his final journey through the town he had made his home.

By Tony Durkin
Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 3:20 pm

As hundreds of fans lined the route to and from the comedy legend’s funeral service at the Hope Church, it was a fitting gesture of farewell for a star who warmed the hearts of millions for so many years.

The sun even played its part, opting to shine as the funeral cars – with Bobby’s coffin surrounded by floral arrangements spelling out ‘Dad’, ‘Grandad’ and ‘Bob’– passed slowly by.

Along with his ‘hall of fame’ status alongside long-time comedy partner Tommy Cannon, Bobby was renowned for his generosity and eagerness to support good causes and residents showing their appreciation as the funeral procession passed by were quick to acknowledge that.

Fans show their appreciation as Bobby Ball's funeral cortege passes Lytham Green and Lowther Gardens

Peter Buggins from Lytham said: “He had such a big heart and would do anything for anybody,”

Dorothy Aitken, a member of the St Annes Carnival committee, who watched the cortege pass through Lytham’s Piazza, said: “He was a great supporter of the Carnival and it was always great to see him. He had the ability to make you laugh as soon as a you saw him.”

Colin Ballard, Lytham’s town crier, was also among those watching the cortege head through the town centre and he said: “He loved Fylde and he will be so much missed.”

The cortege headed to the Hope Church for the service and on to Carleton Crematorium via St Annes and Blackpool, with a brief stop at the Tower, overlooking the Comedy Carpet, where Bobby is among the funnymen featured.

The route started at Lowther Pavilion and Gardens, where Bobby was a patron and had performed many times, including the staging of the first play he wrote ‘Rock Off Tommy’ seven years ago. A book of condolence has been placed there.

Rosie Withers, a Lowther trustee who directed the play, said of Bobby: “He believed in supporting his local community and made everyone feel as though he was their best friend.

“He had an amazing talent, an amazing love for life and an amazing wife and family. Lowther and Lytham will be lost without him.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “Bobby was always the mischievous life and soul of any event; he was a real community champion and selfless supporter of many good causes in Fylde - as well as being a wonderful entertainer.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Yvonne and his family.”

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