Cilla Black funeral: Fans and stars say farewell in Liverpool

21/08/2015

Fans, family and fellow stars have turned out to pay their respects to singer and TV presenter Cilla Black at her funeral in Liverpool.

Hundreds of people stood outside to applaud and throw flowers as her funeral cortege made its way to St Mary's RC Church.

Sir Cliff Richard told mourners the journey to the church had made him realise "how much people loved her".

TV stars Paul O'Grady, Jimmy Tarbuck and Christopher Biggins joined her sons Robert and Ben in giving readings.

Sir Cliff performed the song Faithful One and said: "The one thing that hit me originally was that she was a woman of commitment and dedication.

"She had the determination and above all she had the gift - she was able to do what she set out to do.

"My memories of Cilla are going to be very, very happy ones." 

Two of Black's sons also delivered readings. Robert Willis described his mother as a "wonderful lady who had touched all our lives and brought joy and laughter" to those she knew.

He said: "Her pure enthusiasm, self belief and wonderful sense of humour made being with her a joy and a pleasure."

Mr Willis added that she was a "trailblazer in the fields of music and television" and "set the bar high and it's still there".

His brother Ben Willis later spoke, saying his mother "was always young at heart".

He continued: "I think this was one of the reasons so many people loved her dearly. She loved being a star. She lived to entertain and make people happy."

Black's 1964 hit Anyone Who Had A Heart was played during Holy Communion and her coffin left the church to the sound of The Long And Winding Road by her friends The Beatles.

Other guests included Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carol Vorderman and Sir Tom Jones.

Black died of a stroke after falling over at her Spanish home earlier this month at the age of 72.