Popular comic Sarah Millican has pledged her support to raise money for the funeral of former security guard and veteran John White.
A campaign was launched following the death of the local hero, who helped hundreds of people around Preston Market and beyond, to give him a fitting send-off.
Now the top comedian has announced she will be staging a gig in the city, to help fund the funeral of the “lovely man”.
She told almost 1.4m Twitter followers: “People of Preston and surrounding areas.
“I’m doing a gig next week with some great comics to help pay for the funeral costs of a lovely man.
“That lovely man was John White, security guard of Preston market and also the Frog and Bucket.”
The gig, which will be held on Tuesday next week at the Guild Hall, will also feature comics including Gary Delaney and Dan Nightingale, and tickets will cost £10.
John, who was 61, died at the end of last month, soon after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
A fundraiser was launched to help pay for his funeral, and more than £2,500 has already flooded in. John was in the Royal Green Jackets and then the Ulster Defence Regiment as part of his 17 years of continuous service, before becoming a security guard at Preston Market.
He was a trusted first aider, helping hundreds of people, and even received a commendation from police after talking down two people from jumping from the Market car park.
And John was the first door man at Preston’s Frog and Bucket.
His partner Karen Dixon said it was “brilliant” that comedians were helping support John’s funeral.
She said: “A lot of the comedians knew him personally. I think it’s fantastic, and I think it will help give him what he deserves.
“We are going to really send him off with a bang.
“He would have loved it, he would have loved the attention.
“Everybody thinks he deserves it so it’s well worth it.”
John’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, January 28 at Preston Crematorium, at 2.30pm.
The cortege will pass through Preston Market before the funeral, and anybody who wants to attend is invited.
People are then invited to the Stanley Arms in Preston.
The comedy show will begin at 7.30pm on January 20. Tickets are available from Capelli Remi, 6 Market Hall.
n To donate to John’s funeral fund, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/john-white-fund.