Manchester

Frank Sidebottom farewell party packs Manchester arena

A fan at the farewell party
Many fans appeared at the farewell party donning papier mache heads

More than 5,000 fans of comic creation Frank Sidebottom gathered in Manchester to take part in a celebration of his life.

The party was held in the Castlefield Arena, where acts including Badly Drawn Boy and surviving members of Frank's Oh Blimey Big Band played in tribute.

Frank's Fantastic Farewell was the fans' opportunity to remember the comic genius of his creator, Chris Sievey.

Sievey died on 22 June at the age of 54, having suffered from cancer.

Papier mache heads and fancy dress costumes were widespread among the crowd.

BBC journalist Chris Long, who was in the crowd, said: "It's been as ridiculous and hilarious a night as Frank would ever have wished for - and with some tears as well.

"Even the trains passing by the arena beeped in appreciation as they passed."

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