Frank Sidebottom's creator saved from pauper's funeral

Image caption,
Chris Sievey was a 'live in the moment' man

Friends of Chris Sievey, the creator of comedian Frank Sidebottom, have created an online campaign to pay for his funeral.

Sievey, 54, who had cancer and died on Monday, was facing a pauper's funeral, after dying virtually penniless, his family have said.

A Facebook page, entitled Frank's Fantastic Funeral, which was set up by friends, has raised £6,500.

Friend and journalist Jon Ronson said some cash would go to Sievey's family.

Guardian journalist Ronson, who played with the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band in the early 1980s and was collaborating on a screenplay with Sievey, said: "Nobody wanted Frank Sidebottom to have a pauper's funeral."

Known for his over-sized, papier-mache head, Sievey found fame through a series of TV appearances in the 1980s and remained a popular cult comedy figure.

Ronson said: "Chris was a live in the moment man, wrapped up completely in his art.

"He earned money and spent it and he wouldn't be thinking about planning and finance.

"I'd have been more surprised if he had saved for his funeral," he said.

'Rented home'

Ronson said that entertainers, Phil Jupitus, Jason Manford and Mark Radcliffe had made contact about donating to the fund.

Sievey's former manager and friend, Guy Lovelady, said he had been told by Sievey's eldest son, Stirling, 31, that the comedian had died with no money and that he was being forced to consider a pauper's funeral.

The comedian, who rented his home in Hale, Greater Manchester, also left a daughter, Asher, 31 and son, Harry, 18, who still lives with Sievey's ex-wife Paula.

Mr Lovelady said: "Once there is enough money to pay for the funeral, the remainder will be passed to the family as Chris would still be supporting Harry for at least the next couple of years."

He said that some of the surplus money may be used to create a statue in Sievey's home town of Timperley, if that was the family's wish.

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