Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Hundreds pay respects to Wisdom

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Douglas to pay their respects to Sir Norman Wisdom
Tributes in memory of Sir Norman Wisdom were left outside the Sefton Hotel on the Isle of Man

Sir Norman Wisdom has been laid to rest with a grand send-off which his son said was not quite what the comic legend had expected.

Nicholas Wisdom said his father was speaking to his wife about funeral arrangements a few years ago when he said: "Just chuck me off the end of the pier."

Instead, hundreds of people lined the streets of Douglas on the Isle of Man to see the horse-drawn cortege make its way along the promenade.

Then over 600 people, including family, friends and celebrities, packed into St George's Church in the town to pay their respects to the much-loved actor.

Mr Wisdom said: "Today is definitely a celebration."

People travelled from all over the world to the island Sir Norman made his home. "I met somebody at the bar last night (Thursday) who came all the way from Albuquerque," Mr Wisdom said.

Asked what his father might think of the funeral arrangements, he said: "I think he'd be extremely pleased, but he wouldn't admit it. He'd be delighted."

A flat cap and a bouquet of flowers rested on top of the coffin as the pall-bearers carried it through the doors of the church.

Mr Wisdom paid tribute to his father during the service. He said: "He was a very caring and loving father, always greeting us with a big kiss right to the end."

Remembering one of his catchphrases, he said: "Perhaps for his family and his many friends and fans around the world, they are the true 'Lucky Little Devils' because they shared his love and enthusiasm for life, which made him the unique person he was."

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