Final round of applause at funeral of Scottish entertainer Sydney Devine

The showman sold millions of records throughout his long career.

Sydney Devine funeral
Sydney Devine funeral

Entertainer Sydney Devine gathered a final round of applause as his funeral cortege stopped outside the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr.

Fans lined the streets to pay tribute to the singer who died earlier this month aged 81, having been admitted to hospital with an undisclosed illness.

The showman, from Cleland, North Lanarkshire, was best known for his version of the song Tiny Bubbles. He sold millions of records throughout his long career.

His widow Shirley was among family and band members at his funeral service in Alloway Parish Church, Alloway.

It was restricted to 20 mourners due to coronavirus regulations but fans lined up outside.

Later, a socially-distanced crowd gathered outside the Gaiety Theatre and applauded as his cortege – with a floral tribute reading “Legend” and others in the shape of a guitar and a record – paused outside.

Sydney Devine
Sydney Devine after receiving his MBE in 2003 (Matthew Fearn/PA)

Fan Pat Munro held a scarf with his name on it as she stood outside the theatre with friends.

She said: “We had to come and say our final farewell – we’ve been going to see him for 45 years, so we couldn’t let today go by.

“We’re heartbroken, to be honest.”

Widow Shirley Devine (centre) arrives for the ceremony
Widow Shirley Devine (centre) arrives for the ceremony (Jane Barlow/PA)

Gaiety Theatre chief executive Jeremy Wyatt and staff members also turned out to pay their respects.

He said: “He was quite a man and a special entertainer. Obviously he’d lived in Ayr for many years and had a very strong connection with the Gaiety.

“We’re here on behalf of the thousands of people who have been to see him for years.

“As a theatre, we wanted to make a bit of a statement and mark the occasion on behalf of all his many fans.”

Earlier, his family released a statement thanking fans for their support.

It said: “Firstly, on behalf of our mum Shirley we would like to say a huge thank you for all the kind tributes and messages of condolences for dad.

“It was a massive shock to the family when dad passed away, judging by the amount of messages and tributes made to dad, it was a comfort to know just how much our dad was loved by many people.”

Fans outside the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr
Fans outside the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr (Jane Barlow/PA)

The veteran singer was made an MBE in 2003 following a decade of fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care, receiving the honour from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those to pay tribute to Devine when his death was announced describing him as a “true legend” of Scottish entertainment.

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