The cast and crew of Coronation Street have bid farewell to Liz Dawn at her funeral in Manchester. Liz, who famously played Vera Duckworth for 34 years, passed away a week and a half ago and on Friday afternoon, her friends and former co-stars paid their final respects. Lucy-Jo Hudson and her husband Alan Halsall, whose character Tyrone Dobbs was taken in by Vera on the soap, were pictured arriving at Salford Cathedral.
Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria Connor, and her husband Sylvain Longchambon were also spotted arriving hand-in-hand. Kym Marsh, Jennie McAlpine, Helen Worth and Alison King, also known as Carla Connor on the soap, were also present at the service, as were Antony Cotton, Ken Morley, Bruce Jones and Jack P Shepherd. Liz's widower Donald Ibbetson was comforted by friends and family as his wife's coffin was carried into the cathedral.
In her eulogy, Samia paid tribute to the veteran soap star, saying: "Liz was always a force to be reckoned with and someone we all looked up to and admired. Liz was undoubtedly a wonderful, kind, funny and considerate person and someone whose generosity knew no bounds. Liz was an incredibly special lady and her legacy will go on. She touched our lives and made a difference and for that reason we are truly grateful for her."
Alan added: "Liz could talk to anyone and always treated everyone the same, which was absolutely part of her charm one of the reasons we loved her all the more. She also had no idea how much she was loved or how funny she was and she'd have been totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love these last couple of weeks. This really wouldn't be a tribute to Liz without ending it the way she ended all of her conversations with me and Samia and that is simply... I love you."
The Requiem Mass and Holy Communion Service began at 2pm and was conducted by Father Brendan Curley, former Dean of Salford Cathedral and a friend to Liz and her family. The current Dean of the Cathedral, Father Michael Jones, officiated alongside Father Curley. A private family committal took place following the service.
Liz – real name Sylvia Butterfield – passed away aged 77 on 25 September. A statement released by her family revealed that the actress died peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones. Her family has requested that donations be made in her memory to the British Lung Foundation and Breast Cancer Care UK.