Monday 23 September 2019

Fans light candles and lay flowers in memory of 'kind' star George Michael

A woman lays flowers outside the house of singer George Michael, in north London, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
A woman lays flowers outside the house of singer George Michael, in north London, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Fans have gathered at George Michael's homes to light candles and lay flowers in memory of a "huge inspiration" and "special, kind person".

People arrived at his north London property and the house in Goring-on-Thames where he was found dead, to pay tribute.

One neighbour who met him a number of times said the star's positivity shone through, while another fan said he spotted the singer in a restaurant earlier this year looking "quite haggard".

Tony Fleming, 48, who lives nearby in Highgate, said Michael had tried to remain positive despite having experienced sadness and loss.

A woman lays a candle outside the Goring house of George Michael in Oxfordshire. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A woman lays a candle outside the Goring house of George Michael in Oxfordshire. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A woman lays flowers outside the house of singer George Michael, in north London, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Tributes outside the Goring house of George Michael in Oxfordshire. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A woman leaves a tribute outside the house of singer George Michael, in north London, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
A woman arranges a candle outside the house of singer George Michael, in north London, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Tributes are seen outside the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
A woman and child place a tribute outside the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
People take photographs outside the house of singer George Michael, in north London, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Tributes are seen outside the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
George Michael fans outside his London home, as the pop superstar has died at the age of 53 from suspected heart failure. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
People outside the Goring house of George Michael in Oxfordshire. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
People outside the Goring house of George Michael in Oxfordshire. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A George Michael fan outside his London home. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
A man and a woman react outside the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
A woman reacts outside the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
A woman reacts outside the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
A man carries flowers to the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England, Britain December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

He said: "He was a very kind and very loving person and he was a very giving person. He's had a great life but he has also had a lot of sadness and grief and loss in his own personal life.

"He was just always a happy, positive, loving person and that just shone through all the time. I just think that everyone is going to miss that so much."

Sasha Gretsky, 38, said he had seen Michael in a local restaurant in Highgate around February or March and thought he did not look healthy.

"He didn't look well. He looked quite haggard," he said, adding that he looked older than his age.

Mr Gretsky said neighbours always praised Michael and said he was "really nice".

He said: "He was never arrogant. This is quite a low key community. Although you have the celebrities, you don't get the 'I'm rich, I'm a celebrity' vibe here."

A man who just gave his name as Walter said he and his wife Avril have known Michael in the Highgate area for years.

He said Michael was a "big part of the community" and that he visited the couple's lifestyle and interior shop in the village.

"He did a lot for the village," he said, adding that the star was the driving force behind sorting a Christmas tree on a communal green area opposite his house.

Walter, who was out walking his dog Luna B, said Michael "loved dogs", but said he had not seen him for a while.

"He kept himself to himself. He was a private man," he said.

Kevin McDonagh, who lives nearby in Highgate, came to pay tribute to someone he described as a "man of the people".

Mr McDonagh, originally from Armagh, said: "He touched a lot of people. And in some point in your life you have to demonstrate your appreciation of talent. He was troubled but it doesn't take away from his talents."

Meanwhile, at the music star's riverside home in Goring-on-Thames several floral tributes were left for him.

One card, signed "Tracy", said: "Dear George, My heart is broken, you have gone too soon. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.

"Some of my most precious and happiest memories have been watching you sing live and one of the best days of my life was being at Wembley for Wham's final concert and again when you sang at the new Wembley."

Leandros Kalisperas, 39, a Greek Cypriot from north London, said Michael was a "huge inspiration" and "hero" to him.

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