LEGENDARY local comedian Micky Finn was given a warm, joyful farewell yesterday at his parish church in Liverpool.
The man born Joseph Flannery 69 years ago came back to his beloved church for the last time.
Family, friends, colleagues, fellow actors and the famous faces of Merseyside joined members of the public to say a fond goodbye to a comedian and actor known for his generosity of spirit – professionally and socially.
Celebrant Bishop Tom Williams, auxiliary bishop of Liverpool, welcomed the standing room only congregation inside and those outside to St Anthony's in Scotland Road.
Bishop Williams was at school with Joe (as he called him throughout), at St Sylvester's school, and there a deep friendship was made.
He described Joe as a man who cared about people and about giving - whether it was love, friendship or his trademark laughter.
His friend Billy Butler ensured there were smiles when he performed one of the comic's famous visual sketches, the endless Post Office queue, before the first reading.
Pupils from the local Notre Dame College sang a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria in the moving 75-minute Requiem service.
Stars from the comedy scene made with members of the public - all there to pay tribute to popular Joe a tireless charity fundraiser through his comedy work.
His devoted wife Hazel was joined by the Flannery clan and proud sons who both gave heart, tender yet funny recollections of their beloved dad who died earlier this month at St Joseph's Hospice in Thornton.
Stars paying their respects included Sean Styles, Pauline Daniels, Michael Starke, Stan Boardman, Pete Price, Suzanne Collins, Crissy Rock and famous faces from the Royal Court including Brian McCann, who directed Joe in the hit musical Down Our Street.
The recessional music chosen by the family was Stand By Me by Ben E King.
Family and then friends headed for Thornton Crematorium.
It was a fitting service for a deeply spiritual man who loved life to the very end.
Billy Butler summed up the mass when he told the Globe: "There was laughter and tears and a rousing send off."