Farewell to Bee Gee Robin Gibb: Hundreds attend funeral
HUNDREDS of well-wishers paid their respects to Bee Gees star Robin Gibb today as they lined the streets to see his coffin being taken in a horse-drawn carriage.
The 62-year-old singer died from kidney failure last month after fighting cancer and pneumonia.
Onlookers watched as the white, glass-sided carriage - topped with red roses and pulled by four plumed, black Friesian horses - processed through his adopted town of Thame in Oxfordshire.
The cortege was followed by Gibb's two Irish wolfhounds, Ollie and Missy, together with friends and family.
In keeping with his long musical career, the horses wore decorative black cloths emblazoned with a gold treble clef and were accompanied by a piper.
They were travelling from Gibb's home, along the town's High Street ahead of the funeral at St Mary's Church. It had been Gibb's wish to "say a final goodbye to fans and his home town of Thame", according to his family.
Guests followed the cortege on foot from the gatehouse of his estate, including his elder brother Barry - the sole surviving member of the chart-topping group.
Others in attendance included Sir Tim Rice, DJ Mike Read and Uri Geller.
The church is opposite the home which the musician had shared with wife Dwina for 19 years. He will later be buried in the churchyard.
His death drew tributes from across the music world but also from politicians including former prime minister Tony Blair, who was a close friend.
Gibb had a hugely successful chart career starting in the early 1960s with his twin Maurice - who died in 2003 - and elder brother Barry with tracks such as Massachusetts and I've Gotta Get A Message To You.
But it was their 1970s rebirth during the disco boom which many will remember him for, turning out hits such as Stayin' Alive and Night Fever.
Gibb and his brothers were also prolific writers who wrote hits for the likes of Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross.
Joining funeral directors as pallbearers were Gibb's sons RJ and Spencer, together with Stevie Gibb - Barry's son - and Steven Murphy, who is Dwina's son.
Two candles flickered at the front of the church as some guests entered in tears, to take their places on wooden seats surrounded by pink and white flowers.
They were issued with an order of service printed with a black and white picture of Gibb on the front cover, and images of red roses throughout.
An image of the three members of the Bee Gees - Robin, Maurice and Barry - was on the back.
Gibb's twin Maurice died in 2003 following complications from a twisted bowel, and their younger brother Andy - who also had a chart career - died in 1988.
During the service Dwina was reading a poem, to be followed by a performance of Don't Cry Alone - one of Gibb's last compositions, from his Titanic Requiem which premiered weeks before his death - by teenage singer Isabel Suckling.
Guests are due to leave the church to the sound of the Bee Gees song I Started A Joke, which includes the line, "I finally died, which started the whole world living".