Entertainment

Thousands expected at funeral of Paddy Doherty's teenage nephew, Tomboy

The TV star paid tribute to the “lovely” and “charismatic” youngster, who died just two weeks after passing his driving test.

Patrick “Paddy” Doherty, star of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, has told how he expects “thousands” of friends and family members to attend the funeral of his teenage nephew, who died following a car collision.

An inquest was recently opened into the death of Tomboy Doherty, who was 17 when he died after the car he was driving crashed in South Nutfield on October 9, just days after he had passed his driving test.

Praising his “lovely, good-looking” and “charismatic” nephew, Doherty said he expected members of the Traveller community from all over the world to pay their respects.

Tomboy kisses grandfather Simon Doherty's coffin.
Tomboy kisses grandfather Simon Doherty’s coffin (Channel 5/PA)

The funeral will take place on October 26 and will feature a procession of horses and white Mercedes cars between Leatherhead and Epsom, while the pall-bearers will wear Manchester United T-shirts as a nod to Tomboy’s favourite football team.

Doherty told the Press Association: “We are expecting a couple of thousand. They are coming from all over, from America, Denmark, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland – it will be a massive funeral.

“The casket is white and we will all be wearing Manchester United tops underneath our blue suits and red ties. Tomboy was a proper United supporter, and he loved five-a-side football.

“We will be carrying the casket over our heads, not on shoulders, and it will be all Mercedes cars.

“When he gets lowered into the ground, we will throw our United caps in so he will be smothered in United, keeping him warm.”

The 58-year-old added that the service would likely match the scale of his father Simon’s recent funeral, which the television star said was unexpectedly attended by thousands.

Simon Doherty funeral
Doherty (centre) and his brothers led the funeral procession for their father, Simon (Yui Mok/PA)

“(Tomboy is) the grandson of the King of the Dohertys, The Blacksmith, so it’s a double tribute,” he said.

Remembering his young nephew, who had begun to follow in his footsteps as a keen amateur boxer, he said: “He was 17, God rest his soul, and he passed his test two weeks before he died.

“But he was extra cautious, he had the brains of a 30-year-old. He never swore, never fought, never ended up in a police station, never got a parking ticket.

“He was only a boy, and a good-looking boy. He had a lovely, lovely, good charisma – not cheeky like a lot of boys in this day and age – you’d love this fella.

National Reality TV awards – London
Paddy Doherty and wife Roseanne (Sean Dempsey/PA)

“I’m not just saying this because he’s dead, it’s a sin to tell a lie about the dead. He was a proper man and deeply, deeply missed.

“He was more than just your average Tomboy. You would be proud of him, he was a credit to his parents.”

Doherty, who lost his own son Patrick 20 years ago, said that both Tomboy’s mother Kathleen and his girlfriend, who the teenager had been planning to propose to, were “in a mess” and “at a loss” following the sad news.

The inquest, he hopes, will give the family answers as to what caused the collision, so that “life can go on”.

“We want to know what happened,” he said.

“It’s so freaky… we want to know, was he speeding? Was he on a phone? It’s a complete freak accident. There might have been another car involved, but we haven’t got a clue.”

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