Sydney Devine's family take ‘comfort' in fan messages ahead of funeral
The family of Sydney Devine have said it was “a comfort to know just how much our dad was loved by many people” after the showman’s death.
Earlier this month Iain Gordon – manager of Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre where Mr Devine regularly performed – announced the 81-year-old had died.
The entertainer, from Cleland, North Lanarkshire, had been admitted to University Hospital in Ayr with an unknown illness.
In a statement on a Facebook fan page – Sydney Devine Country – the family thanked fans for their messages ahead of the funeral taking place in Ayr on Thursday.
The statement 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 messages and tributes made to dad, it was a comfort to know just how much our dad was loved by many people.
“Due to the current Covid situation dad’s funeral has had to be scaled back to the maximum of 20 people, although we know in our hearts under normal circumstances dad would have had the send-off fit for a king.
“Anyone who lives locally on the route and wishes to pay their respects should do so safely by ensuring that they adhere to all social distancing measures and remain at least two metres apart at all times.
“Sydney’s family absolutely appreciate the loyalty and devotion of his fans, but respectfully ask that, to keep everyone safe, those who are attending ensure they observe the social distancing.”
The funeral will take place at 12pm at Alloway Parish Church before moving at 1.30pm to Ayr Cemetery, with 20 close family and friends attending “in accordance with the current Covid-19 restrictions”.
A cortege will travel from the church via Monument Road, Corsehill Road, Racecourse Road, Alloway Place, Fort Street, Fullarton Street, Douglas Street, Boswell Park and by the Gaiety Theatre on Carrick Street where it will pause briefly.
The cortege will continue on to Dalblair Road, Burns Statue Square and Holmston Road to the cemetery.
His family confirmed in the statement there will be no live streaming of the funeral.
Devine was best known for his version of the song Tiny Bubbles and sold millions of records throughout his long career.
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.
Nicola Sturgeon was among those to pay tribute to Devine, with Scotland’s First Minister describing him as a “true legend” of Scottish entertainment.
She tweeted: “So sad. For Scots of a certain vintage – which definitely includes me – the name Sydney Devine was once synonymous with Scottish entertainment.
“A true legend. My condolences to his loved ones.”
Announcing the news of Devine’s death, Mr Gordon wrote: “This is probably the hardest thing that I have ever had to announce and put on social media, this morning at 3.30am, our friend and star of the Pavilion and Scottish legend Sydney Devine has passed away.
“I have worked with Sydney and the band since 1976 and have to say, I have never seen a bad performance, he was the ultimate showman and performer. That is truly hard to find in this business.
“He was one of the Pavilion Family and is a great loss to everyone who followed him over the years. Generations of families have grown up with Sydney, playing his music and passing it down through the generations.”