Cilla BlackST MARY’s church was packed with mourners dressed respectfully in black while Liverpudlians and other fans lined Woolton Road awaiting the funeral cortege outside.

The service, streamed by Skynews to millions of viewers worldwide, included an amusing tribute from Paul O’Grady and a moving rendition of ‘Faithful’ by Sir Cliff Richard.

And the speech by Cilla’s son, Ben Willis, 40, before reading the moving ‘Farewell my friends´ by Rabindranath Tagore, conveyed the family’s devastation at the national treasure’s passing away.

“Mum’s death was such a shock,” said Willis to the assembled congregation.

“But I, for one, take some solace knowing that it happened in one of her favourite places in the world, her sun terrace in Spain, doing one of the things she loved the most – sunbathing and listening to music, which was, after all, her first love.”

Local residents in Spain lamented Cilla’s loss after the 72-year-old died earlier this month after a stroke in her Estepona villa, as did close friend and local restaurateur Robbie Anderson who was due to see her the evening she died.


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