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Friends rally round Snow Patrol star Gary Lightbody after father's death

Rocker inundated with messages following death of his father Jack

Gary Lightbody with his father Jack
Gary Lightbody with his father Jack
Gary Lightbody performs on stage during the Snow Patrol concert. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)
John Toner

By John Toner

GRIEVING Snow Patrol star Gary Lightbody has had an outpouring of sympathy from celebrity pals after the death of his father Jack just before Christmas.

The singer (43), who has been awarded an OBE for services to music after being recognised in the New Year Honours list, buried his father on Christmas Eve after a lengthy battle with dementia.

On December 27 the Chasing Cars singer, from Bangor in Co Down, posted a selection of pictures in remembrance of his father (inset) to his Instagram account along with a heartfelt message.

The post was soon flooded with messages of condolence from fans and friends alike including some of Gary's A-list pals.

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Republic of Ireland legend Robbie Keane (39) said: "Thinking of you pal."

TV presenter Cat Deeley (43), wife of Dundrum comedian Patrick Kielty, posted a series of heart emojis under the post as did Friends actress Courtney Cox (55), who is the girlfriend of fellow Snow Patrol star Johnny McDaid.

Ash frontman and founder Tim Wheeler (43), from Downpatrick, also commented: "So sorry to hear of your loss Gary, sending love to you and the family."

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Gary Lightbody performs on stage during the Snow Patrol concert. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)
Gary Lightbody performs on stage during the Snow Patrol concert. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

Scottish radio DJ and TV presenter Edith Bowman added: "Legend. Gave the best hugs, always cracking gags and was SO proud of you and Sarah (Gary's sister).

"A wonderful man with a huge heart and I will always treasure getting a dance at your sister's wedding. Keep an eye on us all up there will you please dear Jack."

In October this year Gary opened up about his own fears of developing the "horrible" disease and revealed he practises memory exercises to reduce his own risk.

He said: "My dad has dementia and I've always had memory problems. That's been a lifetime problem. I'm sure that it will run to me and that's why I'm trying to get on top of it in my forties, rather than leave it any later. Hopefully I've got a few years yet before that affects me. Memory is close to my heart and on my mind.

"I've been trying to do memory exercises. I hope at some point that will connect tissue when I'm on stage. Something disconnects me from the lyrics when I'm there."

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