MOURNERS are preparing for the funeral of superstar entertainer Sydney Devine tomorrow and one Glasgow fan is heartbroken her hero won’t get the send-off he deserves.

“If it hadn’t been for Covid, there would have been a massive turnout – people loved him,” says Pat Munro, who, along with her pal Lily Paterson, has followed the country singer and showman’s career for 45 years.

“Folk would have been lining the streets to pay their respects and he deserved that. He would have loved that.”

Glasgow Times:

Last week, Times Past ran a special picture tribute to the man considered by some as Scotland’s greatest showman. Many readers got in touch to share their tributes but Pat has more reason than most to miss the man she first saw on stage as a twenty-something back in the 70s.

Over the years, Sydney had become a close friend, even attending the funeral of her son Christopher in 2019.

Glasgow Times:

“Chris took his own life at the end of 2019, and when I told Sydney, he was crying on the phone, and he and his wife Shirley came to the funeral to support us,” says Pat, who lives in Bothwell.

“He didn’t have to do that. He was like that, always looked out for his fans and tried to help when he could.

“He had known Chris since he was a wee boy – I still have a photo of him with Chris and his brother Steven when they were around eight years old. He got Chris up on the stage with him once, which was amazing.”

Pat remembers the first time she saw Sydney on stage at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow.

“My mum, auntie and sister did a wee office cleaning job back in the 70s, and they’d put money away each week to save up to go and see him,” she recalls.

“This one night, one of them couldn’t make it, so I went in her place and that was that. I loved it. 

“I was hooked, and from that point on, me and my friend Lily went to every gig, to every show – we did not miss one.

“Lily, who is from Craigend, went to see him with four generations of her family – her daughter, her grand-daughter and her great-granddaughter who is only nine all went to his concerts.”

Glasgow Times:

She smiles: “Lots of people say they were his number one fans, but we didn’t just go and see him once a year at the Pavilion, we travelled all over Scotland to see him, 
we even went to London and Belfast.

“We always got front row seats, and we would even go and support him if he was opening a charity shop. He got to know us very well and used to point us out when he was on stage – he called us ‘The Fan Club’ – he knew we loved him.

“He sang the song Kelly for me, and The Old Rugged Cross for Lily.

“When he got his MBE we presented him with a gift in his dressing room – he was really touched by that. And we made him laugh because we all got t-shirts specially made for the occasion.”

She laughs: "He always called me hen, and when I pointed out I wasn’t a wee lassie any more and was only 10 years younger than him, he used to laugh and say I’d always be that young thing to him.”

Glasgow Times:

Born in Cleland, Lanarkshire in 1940, Sydney died earlier this month at the age of 81.
Pat and Lily, and their friend Cathy, also a die-hard Sydney fan, got to know the star so well, they even received an invitation to his 60th birthday party.

“That was quite something,” smiles Pat. “We felt like we became Syd’s friends as well as his fans. He loved my husband David’s tablet, so whenever he made a batch he would send some down to him.

“That’s the thing about Syd, he was a proper superstar but he was very ordinary too, very humble.

“None of us can’t quite believe he’s gone. He’ll be sadly missed.”

Here at Times Past we would love to hear your memories of Sydney. Did you see him perform? Were you a devoted fan? Get in touch to share your photos and memories.