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Cilla Black laid to rest in Liverpool

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Cilla Black laid to rest in Liverpool

Cilla Black was laid to rest at St. Mary's Church in Woolton, Liverpool this afternoon (20.08.15).

The showbiz legend - who sadly passed away at her holiday home in Spain earlier this month - was remembered by friends and family with a Requiem Mass at the church where she married her late husband Bobby Willis in 1969.

Cilla and Bobby's eldest son Robert was one of a number of those close to her to pay touching tributes to the late 'Blind Date' host and he spoke of his joy at knowing his parents had been reunited in heaven.

He said: "They were two working class kids who grew up together, and achieved the impossible. When he died, life for her, was never really as sweet. He was her soulmate, and now they are together forever. Today she has returned home. Now, the circle is complete."

Robert, 45 - who was his mother's manager before she died - also spoke of her "fearless" and "natural" ability as an entertainer.

He said: "She was a natural, who loved to entertain. Her god-given talent and determination made her a trailblazer in the world of music and television.

"The minute she was on stage in front of an audience, she was fearless."

Cilla's funeral - which was organised by Robert and his younger brothers Ben, 41, and Jack, 35 - began at 1pm following a procession that saw hundreds of fans line the streets in her hometown to pay their respects.

Ben also took to the stand to speak of his memories of his mother.

He said: "Even though mum was a star for over 50 years, she was always more than happy to have a good laugh at herself. Looking good and staying young were important to mum. A few years back I was doing a lot of yoga and she asked me if meditation would help keep her young. I told her, even if it didn't stop her from getting older, hopefully it would help her realise the most important thing was her inner divine essence rather than her external appearance. She reflected on this for a moment and I felt reconnected. You're right, she said, 'I don't need to wear high heels, as long as I still look great in a pair of jeans, I'm okay'."

Ben also admitted he takes comfort in knowing that she died in one of her favourite places, doing one of her favourite things.

He added: "Mum's death was such a shock to everyone, but I for one take some solace at least knowing it happened in one of her favourite places in the world, her sun terrace in Spain, doing one of her favourite things, sunbathing and listening to music."

A number of Cilla's close friends and fellow celebrities also made touching tributes including Sir Cliff Richard - who performed a rendition of his song 'Faithful One' - Paul O'Grady, Christopher Biggins and Jimmy Tarbuck.

Sir Tom Jones, Carol Vorderman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Les Dennis also attended the service, which saw a number of Cilla's songs including 'Anyone Who Had A Heart' played in the church.

Cilla - whose real name was Priscilla White - will be buried alongside her parents, John and Priscilla White, at the nearby Allerton Cemetry.