Mourners wear red braces for funeral of comedian Bobby Ball
Mourners at the funeral of comedian Bobby Ball have donned his trademark red braces to say a final farewell.
Fans lined the street outside Hope Church in Lytham, Lancashire, to pay their final respects to the Cannon & Ball star, who died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on October 28 after testing positive for Covid-19.
His comedy partner Tommy Cannon was among the mourners at the service, which was private and invite-only due to coronavirus restrictions.
Friends wore red braces under their suits for the funeral.
A table with a book of condolence, hand sanitiser and donation box for the Blue Skies Hospital Fund and Lowther Pavilion was set up on the pavement where fans gathered.
Tony Callison, who was among those lining the streets, said he used to drink with Ball in local bar The Sunday Club.
He said: “You had a good laugh when he was in because you couldn’t not. He was a true gent and a funny man but he was also very helpful.
“I had a hard time last year where I needed help and Bobby was there for me as if he was a friend.
“He still had an awful lot to give, it wasn’t his time.”
Zoe Robertson, who owns apartments which Ball stayed in with wife Yvonne when he moved to Lytham, said: “They were just the nicest people ever and since they’ve been in Lytham they’ve just become part of the community.
“He was one of the kindest guys. He will be so missed and it is so sad.
“He couldn’t help himself from telling jokes.
“In the last lockdown we used to see him sitting on his bench and he would always have a joke.”
Memorial cards left outside the service said Ball was a deeply loved husband and an adored grandfather and great-grandfather.
They read: “A much-loved friend to many and a hugely respected character within the local community.
“Things Bob loved… his family, friends, being creative, making people happy, entertaining, music and a chilled glass of Chardonnay!
“He will be truly missed by all who knew him.”
Floral wreaths reading “Bob” and “Grandad” were laid in the hearse with the coffin.
Ball, born Robert Harper on January 28 1944 in Oldham found fame as part of double act Cannon & Ball in the 1970s and 80s but won over new fans playing Lee Mack’s troublesome father Frank in the BBC One sitcom Not Going Out from 2009.
Following his death, Cannon said: “I’m absolutely devastated, I’ve lost my partner, my best friend and the funniest man I know.”