Dogs to line streets in Paul O'Grady's hometown in touching tribute

Dogs to line streets in Paul O'Grady's hometown in touching tribute

April 19, 2023

Dogs will line the streets in Paul O’Grady’s hometown in Merseyside in tribute to the star while his funeral is being held in Kent

  • Read more:  Paul O’Grady’s funeral will be held on Thursday as details revealed

Dogs will line the streets of Paul O’Grady’s hometown tomorrow in a touching tribute to the late TV icon – as a private ceremony is held for the comedy legend almost 300 miles away in Kent. 

Life-long fan Janine Ferguson is organising the ‘community funeral’ in Birkenhead, Merseyside, following the Lily Savage star’s death from cardiac arrhythmia aged 67 last month.

From 2pm to 4pm, fans of the national treasure will be invited to gather along Grange Road and Woodchurch Road with their pets – with plans to raise funds for animal charities. 

Paul, a well-known animal lover, was an ambassador for Battersea Dogs Home and before his death lived just three miles from Port Lympne Safari Park in Adlington, Kent. 

He was an avid supporter of the nature reserve, where he often judged animal competitions. The safari is hosting a private event for close loved ones after his funeral on Thursday.  

Janine told the Globe: ‘I’m a great lover of Paul O’Grady and I was absolutely traumatised when I heard that he had passed. It really upset me, I think it did everyone… It was devastating to hear because he was so loved by everyone.’

Dogs will tomorrow line the streets of Paul O’Grady’s hometown in a touching tribute to the late TV legend and animal lover – as a private funeral is held in Kent 

Paul O’Grady’s partner Andre Portasio released a new picture of the entertainer smiling broadly while wearing white angel’s wings

READ MORE: Paul O’Grady delayed telling doctors he had a heart attack because he ‘didn’t want to bother anybody’, claims Susanna Reid 

She said the plan is for people to ‘line the streets with their families and bring their dogs as a sign of respect.’ 

‘I’ve asked for all local rescue dogs and cats’ homes to attend as well so we can collect donations from everyone there,’ she added. 

‘It only started off as a small idea but it has gone absolutely mad. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction and the feedback to it.

‘Birkenhead was Paul’s home so I hope we can give it our very best to make his memory an extremely special day.’ 

Janine said she has asked people to bring condolence books that can be signed and sent to Battersea Dogs Home, which will pass them on to Paul’s family.  

It comes after Paul’s partner Andre Portasio shared details of the private funeral on local Facebook pages today, as he released a new picture of the entertainer smiling broadly while wearing white angel wings.

In his message Andre said: ‘I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for the overwhelming outpouring of support and love I have received since the passing of our beloved Paul O’Grady.

‘Your kind messages, beautiful flowers, and thoughtful texts of condolences have brought me comfort and solace during this difficult time.

‘I’m incredibly grateful for the support and love I have received from our community, and we want to thank each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity. 

Locals have also been invited to line streets near Paul’s home as the cortege passes through the village where he lived. Pictured: Paul O’Grady and partner Andre Portasio

A private event is planned to take place at Port Lympne Safari Park near his home afterwards

‘As a mark of respect and as Paul would have wanted, we will be holding a private funeral on Thursday, 20th April 2023.

‘This information has not been made public, but I wanted to share it with local residents.

‘While the funeral will be a private ceremony, as many of you know, Paul cared a lot about his local community.

‘We have therefore requested that the funeral procession passes through Aldington before heading to the church, as a way of marking Paul’s affection for the area.

We would therefore like to invite all locals to join us in paying our respects to Paul in Aldington Village between 14:10 – 14:45 on Thursday.

‘In order to avoid road congestion and public disorder, we kindly ask all residents to treat this invitation personally and if attending to stand on either Roman Road, Forge Hill, or New Road Hill so to respect the villagers and the local area.

‘Please note for public safety Church Road as well as Knoll Hill will be closed on the day of the procession. We kindly ask everyone to respect the family’s wishes and maintain social distancing throughout the event.

‘Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult time.’

Paul O’Grady laughs as the Queen looks at a corgi at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in March 2015

Paul O’Grady and Queen Consort Camilla during her visit to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home centre in Brands Hatch, Kent, in February last year

Paul O’Grady hosted classic TV quiz show Blankety Blank as his alter-ego Lily Savage

A private event is then planned to take place at Port Lympne Safari Park near his home, which is just three miles from Aldington where Paul lived and where he often judged animal competitions.

Following his death last month aged 67, Port Lympne, which is home to more than 900 rare and endangered animals on a 600 acres park paid tribute to the Liverpool born star.

Writing on its Instagram page the park said: ‘We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Paul O’Grady – a local supporter of Port Lympne and the world we do.

‘We were incredibly grateful to have him visit us.’

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