Sheffield funeral director offers to repatriate and bury comedian Freddie Starr for free
A funeral director from Sheffield has offered to repatriate the body of Freddie Starr and bury him for free after the late comedian's carer said she feared he would have a pauper's funeral.
Michael Fogg, who runs Michael Fogg Family Funeral Directors in Manor Top, said he was a fan of Freddie and offered to help as he ‘couldn't bear the thought of his family being in turmoil' over leaving him in an unmarked grave in Spain,
The 54-year-old has spoken to Starr’s third wife Donna, who is said to be 'blown away' by his gesture, after the family were left struggling to pay for a basic funeral – which can cost nearly £3,000 in Spain – as he had lost a large amount of his fortune.
Freddie, 74, was found dead in his Costa del Sol apartment on Thursday – his carer Nelly Georgieva, said she could not afford to bury him and claimed his family had not been in touch to sort funeral arrangements.
In a post on Facebook, Michael said: “We have been in contact an offered to pay for the repatriation and also the care for Freddie. And no cost to anyone but us rest in peace. A legend.
“This is why I’ve been collecting food for food banks, clothes for the homeless. Easter eggs for kids who wouldn't otherwise get one.No one knows what's around the corner.”
Hundreds of people have praised Michael for the gesture.
Catherine Austin said: “What a wonderful thing for you to do Mr Fogg, can't thank you enough. Freddie gave us some wonderful laughs over the years for which we were grateful I never got to see him only on the TV. Thanks again for what you are doing."
Rebecca Boyd said: “Thank you Michael and your family for looking after Freddie Starr a legend who deserves a proper send off after all the years he made us all laugh if it was not for you this would not have been possible. God bless you and your family.”
Michael said it was now ‘just a case of putting everything in order’.
Merseyside-born Starr was the lead singer of the Merseybeat group the Midniters during the 1960s and rose to national prominence in the early 1970s after appearing on Opportunity Knocks.
He was known by fans for his eccentric and often unpredictable behaviour.
In 1986, he was famously at the centre of one of the best known newspaper headlines when The Sun splashed with: "Freddie Starr ate my hamster."
But in his 2001 autobiography Unwrapped, Starr said the incident never took place.
During the 1990s, he starred in several TV shows including Freddie Starr (1993-94), The Freddie Starr Show (1996-98) and An Audience with Freddie Starr in 1996.
He took part in the 2011 series of I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here but dropped out due to ill health.
Police investigated an allegation of historical sexual abuse against Starr in 2012, as part of Operation Yewtree, which he said left him "suicidal".
Starr was told in 2014 he would not be prosecuted after spending 18 months on bail.
He lost a damages claim against his accuser in the High Court in 2015.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he revealed he moved to Spain following the ruling, which left him facing a bill unofficially estimated at about £1 million.